The issue that outlines the century, most dramatically than any other occurrence, is the pressing threat of climate change. Carbon emission is still the talk of the century as it continues to rise incessantly, while it should be on the downward curve. Effective decarbonization necessitates where they evolve, which industry stands as the highest contributor, what strategies are adopted to eradicate the problem, and where we stand according to the global statistics and over the years.
To reduce the spiking climate change, we need to hasten the process of decarbonization of nearly 50 billion tonnes of Greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere every year. Therefore, to structure the way of carbon reduction, it is necessary to know its source.
Sources of carbon emission
Global emission can classify into several sectors that means there cannot be one solution of decarbonization to confront climate change. The energy industry comprising Paper, Food, Machinery, Iron-free metals, Chemicals, and other segments accounts for 73.2% of the net global carbon emission. The transport sector contributes 16.2%, which involves road, aviation, marine, rail, and pipeline transportation. Energy used for commercial or residential purposes emits 17.5% carbon. The energy used in unmapped fuel combustion, fishery & agriculture, and momentary emission accounts for 7.8%, 5.8%, and 1.7% consecutively.
But that is not the end of the story. Carbon is not only emitted by the energy industry alone though it accounts for three-quarters of the total emission. The other sources are Forestry and land usage (18.4%), cement and petrochemical industries (5.2%), and wastes (3.2%).
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Effective ways of decarbonization
According to the UN Environment Programme report, global carbon emission must reduce to 7.6% every year, starting from 2020 till 2030. It would, in turn, restrain the temperature increase by 1.5 degrees. The paths following which it can happen are as follows:
Switching to an energy provider that is certified for supplying renewable energy.
Minimize the usage of locomotives and indulge yourself in walking, bicycling, or carpooling to short distances.
Restrict purchasing new, heavy, or heavily packed products.
While buying a home, electric appliances, and cars, little research could help lower the impact. The energy-efficient, low-carbon-emitting vehicles and appliances can be a wise choice.
As for your residence, reducing the consumption of energy is highly recommended. It is possible by switching to LED lamps, limiting the usage of driers, taking up the zero-voltage challenge, restricting the combustion of wood in fireplaces and stoves, and setting solar panels on the rooftop.
Switch to organic and fresh food instead of processed or ready-to-eat ones and limit the wastage of eatables.
Choose wisely between high and low carbon activities like kayaking, hiking, mountaineering, etc.
If flying is a priority, choose to buy carbon offsets while buying tickets.
Composting wasted organic food and limiting water usage might add to decarbonization.
Encourage afforestation and Greenhouse gas reduction programs in local areas.
Which countries are already working on decarbonization?
To put a latch to the overheating of our planet, we need to cut down on the Greenhouse gas emission more than we release it into the air every year. A goal was set for all the countries in Paris Agreement 2015 to make themselves free from carbon emission by the next half of the century.
Nearly 40 countries like Argentina, Uruguay, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Canada, Brazil, Bhutan, Nepal, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, China, Denmark, Finland, Fiji, Grenada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, New Zealand, Panama, Laos, South Korea, Singapore, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, the USA, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, Slovakia, Marshall Islands, European Union, signed up and pledged to carbon-free the world for a better future by 2050 on an average.
How might decarbonization help?
According to the NIEHS study, slowing down the pace of climate change due to carbon emission can restrain innumerable untimely death over centuries. A study conducted at North Carolina University fortifies the notion of carbon emission mitigation by bringing forth the benefits to the atmosphere and health of people.
As per International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), when excessively exposed to outdoor atmospheric pollution, it acts as a carcinogenic compound for humans and affects the cardiac and respiratory systems adversely. As carbon emits from known sources curbing it down might slow down the pace of climate change.
Decarbonization could help put a check on nearly 0.5 MN untimely deaths, owing to air pollution in 2030. It should spike further to 1.3 MN in 2050 and 2.2 MN in 2100. The estimated economic value availed of this reduction could be higher than the estimated cost of the reduction process.
There is a constant push for efficient energy, technology, and electric motility coupled with increasing digitalization and a ubiquitous layout of carbon pricing. It would hasten the dream of achieving a carbon emission-free life ahead for middle-class people globally. In the current time, we must agree upon a determined path under the canopy of international law that would make this century an era of decarbonization.
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