Climate change is a pressing global issue. So much so that climate policy now stands as a cornerstone piece to some countries’ policy agenda.
Without urgent action countries will lock in high-emissions pathways for decades to come. We need to plan effectively and accelerate implementation of climate action plans to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.
New IPCC Report stresses the need for more Climate Action
Development on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) examines global impact under various climate change scenarios. The report suggests that limiting global warming to 1.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels is still possible, but it will require swift action and significant global cooperation.
Many countries, including Australia, came together for the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 to address climate change and commit to emissions targets aimed at keeping global temperature rise within 1.5°C of pre-industrial temperatures. While the Paris Climate Agreement was a monumental step towards international cooperation to address climate change, a reflective look at countries’ pledges shows that many nations will not hit their 2030 emissions targets.
Countries like China and India are poised to continue increasing carbon emissions through to 2030 while the United States and Australia’s current tracks are insufficient in keeping pace with the Paris Climate Agreement.
To stay within a 1.5°C increase, Earth’s atmosphere could likely not take more than 500 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions. Considering the world currently emits roughly 40 billion tonnes of CO2 annually, these figures project that a decade of business-as-usual operations will force us past the 1.5°C threshold.
Surpassing the 1.5°C threshold will have significant ecological and socioeconomic impact as extreme weather events become more intense and frequent, changes to the global water cycle cause severe drought and intense flooding, and sea-level rise poses serious threat to low-lying islands and river delta areas. The IPCC recommends that to stay well below 1.5C of warming, the cumulative emissions from 2018 needs to stay under 500 billion tonnes of carbon.
There is available technology to impact industrial decarbonisation
While policy can be a huge driver for environmental action, it’s not the only force. Consumer demand for sustainably sourced products has increased over the past decade, and large financial institutions and investors are putting more stock into clean energy platforms. This puts pressure on companies to incorporate decarbonization methods and sustainability measures into their business practices.
On top of that, improving industrial efficiency can result in energy cost savings, helping businesses paving the way for sustainable practices to have a greater competitive edge. Good news is that there are already plenty of ways to effectively decarbonize commercial and industrial operations. Northmore Gordon is ready to help establish and execute commercial decarbonization plans and has being doing so for over a decade.
Some tried and true strategies businesses should consider to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions include:
· Recover and use heat wherever possible, such as the flue gas of an oven or boiler
· Electrify heating processes under 200°C
· Identify and quickly rectify air and steam leaks
· Optimise the control of and monitor the efficiency of existing equipment
· Install on-site solar PV system
· Engage employees in a ‘treasure hunt’ for energy waste
Businesses have the power to lead on Climate Action
The IPCC report shows that global efforts to fulfil the Paris Climate Agreement are lacking. This decade is a pivotal time for us to step up to the challenge… to take ownership over our fossil fuel usage and transition to sustainable practices… to protect our home and communities for generations to come. Businesses have the opportunity to lead the charge on climate action. Technologies are available to lower industrial carbon footprint. Time will tell if we have the will to make it happen.