Impact of Pollution on
a Global Scale

2015 was the year when the global targets of reducing carbon emissions were set in motion at the 21st UN Climate Change Conference (Cop 21). 197 countries from around the world came together to reduce global warming and save the planet from extreme events like droughts, floods, and hurricanes collectively.

As a wake-up call, global targets were set for the year 2050, to keep carbon emissions to less than 2° C as compared to pre-industrial levels. As a wake-up call, global targets were set for the year 2050, to keep carbon emissions to less than 2° C as compared to pre-industrial levels.

The convention marked the beginning of upholding shared responsibility to make use of more renewable resources (wind, water, and solar energy) for power generation, measures to protect natural resources, prevent deforestation, and a lot more.

What other countries are doing to
reduce carbon emissions?

Fossil fuels amount to over 80% of the energy sources in the US. Of them, the major fossil fuels used are coal, oil, and natural gases. This is the energy that is heated to provide electricity in our homes and offices and to run cars and factories. But fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource and waiting for millions of years for new coal, natural gas, and oil to form seems like an unrealistic solution. Fossil fuels are also the major contributors to carbon emissions from human activity.

Scientists and engineers have long been looking for ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to make the process of burning fuels cleaner and healthier for the environment.

  • In the US, there have been attempts to make coal burning and oil drilling cleaner.
  • Researchers at Stanford University, California have been using greener technologies to figure out a way to burn fossil fuels to lessen their impact on the environment. One solution they figured is to use more natural gas, which is estimated to emit 50 percent less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than coal. The Stanford team is also trying to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it underground—a process called carbon capture and sequestration.
  • Scientists at Stanford and the University of Bath in the United Kingdom are trying newer methods to save the planet, by using carbon dioxide and sugar to make renewable plastic.

But the crux of the matter has remained the same. There's been no way to reduce or eliminate the use of fossil fuels to do that.

When it comes to the UK scenario, there are three main contributors to carbon emissions in the country, namely power, transport, and buildings (accounting for 84% of UK emissions).

  • The UK made progress in cutting emissions compared to the levels released in 1990. In 2019, the country is estimated to release 40% less than in 1990.
  • There are also provisions for homeowners to apply for grants of up to £5,000 to install low-carbon heat pumps to replace gas boilers.
  • The rapid electrification of new vehicles has been welcomed and encouraged by most sectors. This is a big move made by the government toward carbon savings. Yet other developments promised by the government are expected to increase carbon footprint in indirect ways, which adds to the problem.
  • Without action on climate change, the world is bound to face a hotter planet, rising sea levels, and extreme weather conditions threatening many forms of life.

Among the global targets set by other countries, Brazil has been the most ambitious one since the beginning. Brazil was the only country to say that it would achieve zero illegal deforestation by 2030 and increase the share of renewable resources from 28 to 33%.

But a lot has deteriorated the condition in the past decade, leading to continued illegal deforestation taking place on a massive scale in the Amazonian Tropical Forests.

Even though the burning of huge forest lands for farming is a well-known practice in Brazil, most of the cases seen in the recent past have escaped the jurisdiction, making up to 62% of the illegal deforestation taking place in private properties.

In the last decade, 10,000 Sq. KMs of Brazilian Forests were burned, which is a huge threat to Global Warming and demands immediate intervention.

What India Is Doing to Reduce
Carbon Emissions?

India has bold and ambitious plans to meet 50 percent of its carbon requirements from renewable sources of energy by 2030.

India plans to reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes, starting today till 2030. This means by 2070, India is projected to reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by less than 45 percent. So, by the year 2070, India will achieve the target of Net-Zero.

It is interesting to note that India has not been a historical contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions from the year 1870 to 2019, its emissions added up to only a minuscule 4 % of the global total.

Despite being criticized as the world's third-largest polluter in 2019, India's scale of emissions has been up to 2.88 CO2 Gigatonnes (GT) only as compared to the highest polluters like China at 10.6 GT and the second-highest the United States at 5 GT.

As a developing nation, we have a huge need to grow our economy and come up with more energy-efficient ways to meet the energy needs of millions of people.

Why do we need Decarbonisation and how to achieve it?

As per the UN Climate Change Conference, there's a huge need to keep global temperatures rising to no higher than 2 degrees. This means that within the next 10 years global emissions need to be half of what it currently is. This is going to be a huge change for government business and societies.

Achieving decarbonization is going to involve taking factors like economic crisis, public health crisis, natural resource constraints, land degradation, social inequality, air pollution, and ecological crisis into consideration.

Achieving decarbonization is going to involve taking factors like economic crisis, public health crisis, natural resource constraints, land degradation, social inequality, air pollution, and ecological crisis into consideration.

There are predictions of the cost of decarbonization drastically increasing if we don't take action now or delay it further to take serious action towards reducing carbon emissions.

What is a carbon credit?

A carbon credit is a permit that allows the owner, be it a company or an individual to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The permit gets reduced eventually. One credit permits the emission of one ton of carbon dioxide or the equivalent greenhouse gases to be removed from the atmosphere

Companies seeking to remedy the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment have turned to carbon credits. This is the effect of the government putting pressure on the private sector to reduce greenhouse gases.

The carbon credit is part of a government regulatory program called the "cap-and-trade" program. Companies adding to the pollution are awarded credits that allow them to continue to pollute up to a certain limit. That limit gets reduced periodically. Meanwhile, the company is free to sell any extra credits to another company that needs them.

This way private companies are doubly incentivized to reduce greenhouse emissions. First, they have to spend money on extra credits if their emissions exceed the cap. Second, they can make money by reducing their emissions and selling their excess permit to others.

Carbon credits are created through agricultural or forestry practices, although credit can be made by nearly any project that reduces, avoids, destroys, or captures emissions. Individuals or companies looking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions can buy those credits through a middleman or those directly capturing the carbon.

For example, in the case of a farmer that plants trees, the landowner gets money; the corporation pays to offset their emissions; and the middleman, if there is one, can earn a profit along the way.

Making way to clean and green energy

Looking at all the options and solutions available to us at present, we can say that they are both time-consuming and expensive affairs in the long run.

None of the approaches are independent of making use of fossil fuels or renewable sources of energy to create another sustainable energy source.

All of the processes have their limitations and dependency on the use of other resources, which makes it highly time-consuming and expensive to start with.

Femto Green is a step in the right direction, where the power to conserve energy will be directly in your hands to control. It is the next revolution in carbon emissions that can beat every single method that came before it.

Back to Top