As the world prepares to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, people have linked the impact of global lockdown to the natural healing of the planet. However, with the rising trend of higher fuel prices, deforestation, and greenhouse emissions, the carbon dioxide (CO2) level has been increasing at an alarming rate.
This year’s World Environment Day focuses on “Ecosystem Restoration” for recovering the ecosystems that have been destroyed and degraded over time. Countries are pledging to restore around 350 million hectares of the world’s deforested land by the end of 2030 by growing trees, greening cities, and cleaning up rivers and seas, among others.
Impact of Carbon Dioxide Emissions on Global Economy
In the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, more than 200 countries made a resolution to hold this century’s average temperature to “well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels”. However, not all developing nations have the capabilities to deal with climate-related changes and achieve carbon neutrality targets.
Decarbonizationhas become necessary due to the adverse effects of carbon emissions. Decarbonization is the process of reducing carbon emission in every possible industrial and commercial sector by using carbon-free or low-carbon technologies, such as renewable energy, carbon capture, and electrification.
CO2 Emissions are Directly Linked to Economic Growth, Thus Decarbonation Strategies are Needed to Achieve a ‘Sustainable’ Economic Growth
Decarbonization aims to achieve a carbon negative status in every industrial or commercial process gradually. Below mentioned are some decarbonization technologies adopted by corporations and governments:
Various leading global companies are investing in decarbonization techniques to reduce their carbon footprint. Many national governments have set goals for future. This is expected to drive investments in various industry sectors and a complete overhaul and complete disruption of current business practices with higher emphasis on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and electrification can be expected during 2016-2050. Here are examples of some leading corporations taking a step towards sustainable future:
Google is the first major multinational corporation to have achieved carbon-neutral status in 2007.Google aims to become the first major company to rely on a 24/7 supply of renewable energy in the world by 2030 and aims to become 100% carbon-free in its entire operations. The company currently procures 2706 MW of renewable energy, which is the highest by any multinational companies and plans to procure almost 5GW by 2030.
On July 21, 2020, Apple announced its plan to get 100% carbon neutral by 2030. This will include procuring 100% renewable energy for all its global operations. The plan is divided into two parts; in the first phase, Apple plans to reduce 75% of its direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2030. In the second phase, it plans to employ carbon removal technologies for the remaining 25% of its carbon emissions.
Glencore is responsible for 271 MT Scope 3 CO2 emissions in 2020, which is a decrease of 21% from 2019 levels but still huge. The company aims to reduce 40% of its total carbon emissions, including scope 1,2.3 emissions by 2035. The company has started deploying carbon-free technologies into its operations globally and aims to prioritize carbon capture technology.
BASF is responsible for almost 113 MT CO2 emissions yearly, including both direct and indirect emissions from its entire value chain. The company aims to achieve net-zero carbon emission status by 2050 and reduce overall emissions by 25% in 2030 from 2018 levels.
Walmart has recently announced its targets to zero emissions by 2040. It has also announced to protect, manage or restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030. Walmart will take a number of steps to meet its zero emissions target, including harvesting enough wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to power its facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2035. (Currently, Walmart powers about 29% of its operations with renewable energy.)
Below-mentioned are some latest research studies by BIS Research experts: