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Climate crisis| Climate crisis

Climate crisis| Climate crisis

Employees on production line

TThe greatest threat to civilisation is the climate emergency. The good news is that we have all the tools necessary to defeat it. The problem is not finding solutions, but quickly implementing them.

Electric cars are one of the key sectors that is already moving ahead. They are already cheaper to own and run in many places – and when the purchase prices equal those of fossil-fueled vehicles in the next few years, a runaway tipping pointIt will be achieved.

Electricity from renewables is now the norm cheapest form of power in most placesSometimes even cheaper than running existing coal plants. There’s a long way to go to meet the world’s huge energy demand, but the plummeting costs of batteriesStorage technologies such as those mentioned above are a good option.

Many companies are realizing that failing to invest in the future will lead to economic destruction due to global warming. Even the largest polluters such as cement steelYou have seen the green writing on a wall.

Buildings are big emitters but the solution – improved energy efficiency – is simple to achieve and saves the occupants money, particularly with the cost of installing technology such as heat pumps expected to fall.

The technology to stop the razing forests is not necessary, but government action will be required. While progress is poor – and Bolsonaro’s Brazil is going backwards – countries such as Indonesia have shown regulatory action can be effective. Protecting and restoring forests, especially by empowering indigenous peopleIt is a powerful tool.

Recognize the role food and farming playGlobal warming is high. The solutions to this problem are numerous. alternatives to meatTo regenerative farming, are growing. As with fossil fuelsEnding vast and harmful subsidiesIt is important, and there are many. glimmers of hope here, too.

Climate crisis every fraction of a degree matters and so every action reduces people’s suffering. Every action makes the world a cleaner and better place to live – by, for example, cutting the air pollution that ends millions of livesA year.

The real fuel to the green transition is a combination two of the most valuable and intangible commodity commodities: political will and skills. Youth strikers and chief executives are demanding action. This must be used to confront powerful vested interests such as the aviation, fossil fuel, and cattle industries. The race to a sustainable, low carbon future is underway. Cop26Climate talks in Glasgow will reveal how much faster it is possible to get there.

Transport

Transport is responsible for between 14 and 28 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. It has been slow to decarbonise and faces particular challenges in areas like long-haul flights.

Technical solutions are possible, provided that there is public policy and spending. The most obvious is the electric car: petrol and diesel cars will be scarcely produced in Europe in the next ten years. With the exception of Norway, EV sales are increasing everywhere. well past the tipping pointThe emission levels from buses have been reduced by cheaper, electric vehicles from China. In the meantime, combustion engines are becoming more efficient and less polluting.

Employees on production line
Workers on the assembly line of electric buses in Xi an (Shaanxi province), China.Photograph: Visual China Group/Getty images

Bike and scooter schemesAs cities all over the globe embrace electric micromobility, their popularity is increasing rapidly. Global freight is moving to cleaner ships. The potential of hydrogenIt is becoming more common for cleaner trains to be used in areas where electrification is not feasible, to be followed by ships, and maybe even, one day, aircraft. planes. Manufacturers expect short-haul electric aircraft much sooner. Most of all, the pandemic has shown that a world without hypermobility is possible – and that many people will accept, or even embrace, a life where they commute and travel less. Gwyn Topham

Deforestation

The second-largest source for human-caused greenhouse gases is land use change and deforestation. The destruction of the world’s forests has continued at a relentless pace during the pandemicLand-clearing in Amazonia has led to the loss of millions of hectares.

Volunteers plant mangrove trees
Volunteers plant mangrove tree seeds in a conservation area at Dupa beach, Indonesia. Photograph: Basri Marzuki/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock

There are reasons to be optimistic. The UK has put nature at the heart of its Cop26 presidency and behind the scenes, the government is pushing hard for finance and new commitments from forested nations to protect the world’s remaining carbon banks. Indonesia and Malaysia were once hotspots worldwide for deforestation. experienced significant fallsRecent years have seen increased restrictions on palm oils plantations. These trends can be reversed by Brazil’s 2000 soy moratorium. Finally, there is a growing recognition of the importance of indigenous communities to protecting the world’s forests and biodiversity. Faced with racism and targeted violence a growing number of studies and reportsThey are the best forest guardians. It is vital to empower these communities in order to end deforestation. Patrick Greenfield

Technology

Emissions from technology businesses, including direct emissions and emissions from electricity use, and other operations, such as manufacturing. accountGlobal carbon emissions are at 0.3%. However, emissions from cryptocurrencies account for a large emerging problem.

Mining – the process in which a bitcoin is awarded to a computer that solves a complex series of algorithms – is a deeply energy-intensive processIt is more energy-intensive the more complicated the algorithms become. New mining methods are lighter and more sustainable. A system called “proof of stake” has a 99% lower carbon footprint.

Technicians in futuristic room
Researchers pose for a group picture at the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals, Beijing, China. The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was supported by the opening of the centre. Photograph: Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock

The sector is being scrutinized more closely, with the help of tech workers who walked out in large numbers to join. climate change marches2019 The companies have committed to doing better in 2019. AmazonThe company aims to be net-zero carbon by 2040, and to be powered by 100% renewable energy by 2025. Facebook has set a goal to achieve net zero emissions throughout its supply chain by 2030Microsoft has also committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Apple has committed to becoming carbon-neutral throughout its entire supply chain by 2030.

They’re still falling shortEmployee groups push for excellence when it comes down to delivering. Kari Paul

Business

For decades Exxon Mobil has arguably been corporate America’s biggest climate change denier. This year, however, Exxon Mobil is the activist investor Engine No 1. won three seats on the company’s board with an agenda to force the company to finally acknowledge and confront the climate crisis.

There are signs of change in corporate America and around the globe. The Federal Reserve, the world’s most powerful central bank, is beefing up its climate team. BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, has made environmental sustainability a core goalFor the company.

This isn’t about ideology: it’s about “common sense.” According to BlackRock, failure to tackle climate change is simply bad for business. According to the investor, that is how it works out. 58% of the USIf nothing is done, we will see economic decline in 2060-2080.

There is still much to do. some questionIt is unclear whether corporate America can solve the crisis without government intervention. But the days of denial are over – what matters now is action. Dom Rushe

Electricity

The rising global market price of gas has caused world economies to collapse, causing factories to close and blackouts in China. This could slow down the global economic recovery from Covid-19.

But it also made it clear that there is an economic case for governments to increase their efforts to develop domestic, low-carbon electricity systems.

The good news is that renewable energy has the potential to play a larger role in electricity systems around the world.

Woman works by solar-powered lamplight
A woman completes paperwork in the light of solar-powered lamps in her village shop for solar products. Photograph: Kunal Gupta/Climate Visuals Countdown

The rapid fall in the cost of solar and wind energy has encouraged new investments in electricity vehicles and energy storage technologies such as batteries. Costs are also falling. Soon, solar and wind power will produce green hydrogen. This can then be stored over long periods to generate electricity on days when the sun is not as bright or as breezy.

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These advances are possible because of cheap renewables. This will also help countries to use more sustainable energy. There’s never been a better moment to get off gas and go green. Jillian Ambrose

Buildings

The built environment is responsible for 40% of global carbon emissions.

Over the past two decades, the carbon footprint of buildings “in use” has been greatly reduced by energy-saving technologies – better insulation, triple-glazing, and on-site renewables such as solar panels and ground-source heat pumps. The UK is far behind when it comes to heating pumps. Norway, however, has installed more than 10,000 heat pumps through a combination grant and high electricity prices. 600 heat pumpsFor every 1,000 households.

As national energy grids are decarbonising, the focus is shifting to reducing the “embodied energy” of materials – which can account for up to three-quarters of a building’s emissions over its lifespan – for example by reducing the amount of concrete and steel in favour of timber.

High-rise buildings covered in greenery
The Vertical Forest, Porta Nuova district of Milan. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty

A growing trend is to prioritise refurbishment over demolition. This is because the most sustainable buildings are those that can be reused and repurposed. the ones that already exist. Oliver Wainwright

Food Agriculture

The global livestock industry’s hoofprint is significant, accounting for approximately 80%. about 14%The annual total greenhouse gas emissions. However, it is being accepted by governments across the country.

New Zealand now has a legal system commitment to reduceDenmark has already passed the aforementioned goal to reduce methane emissions from agriculture by 10 percent by 2030. legally binding targetTo reduce climate emissions from agriculture by 55% by 2030

Global meat production is declining increasingThere is a shift towards poultry and fish, which have a lower carbon footprint than red meats. Food industry is also developing lower-carbon products that are made from plant-based proteins like soy and pea and alternative meats grown in insects and labs. Tom Levitt

Manufacturing

It is a huge and complex task to decarbonize every product manufactured in a modern economy. Some sectors are on the right track. For instance, Apple, the world’s third-largest maker of mobile phones by volume, has pledged to produce net zero carbon throughout its supply chain by 2030.

Machine learning and other artificial intelligence technologies are still in their infancy, but they will accelerate improvements in the efficiency of factories and products. Even in the most difficult sectors to decarbonise there are some encouraging signs, such as Volvo’s plans to. replace coal with hydrogenIt uses steel in its cars.

One of the greatest reasons for optimism is manufacturers’ increasing awareness of circular design principles. Making products easier to recycle from the start will help to cut emissions from fresh resource extraction– although a bigger question remains as to whether rich societies can reduce consumption, the most obvious way to cut emissions. Jasper Jolly

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