How Energy Production Affects GHG emissions and Climate Change

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Climate scientists have proven that fossil fuel emissions and its concentrations in the atmosphere is causing climate change and the extreme natural events that ensue. 

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolutions man switched from hand to mechanical production to mass, produce everything – food, wares, equipment, and just about anything.

The use of fossil fuels to power factories have tremendously increased. Emissions from fossil fuels and cement are responsible for two-thirds of the total GHG emissions since 1854.

China accounts for 25% or a quarter of the world’s global emissions, the United States a far second at 15%, India at 7%, and the rest of the world at 21% (Save on Energy, 2020).

When Covid-19 hit the world in 2020, there was a momentarily decline in energy demand at 3.8% from coal, oil, gas, electricity, and a slight increase in renewable energy demands. 

At the height of the pandemic movement and transportation dramatically dropped for months. This pause allows us, including governments and institutions, to reflect on how can we make things better.

The impact of Covid-19 puts climate change and its increasing threats and risks to the economy, our health, and well-being into perspective.

Climate change effects such as rising temperatures and sea-levels, increasing intensity and frequency of cyclones, storms, record wildfires and flooding threaten and destroy livelihoods and claim lives.

Poor and developing countries, those living in coastal areas and cities, and the low-lying regions are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts.

Climate scientists believe that transitioning to renewable energy can fight climate change. It is not to say that renewable energy has no environmental impact at all.

The article, Save On Energy article enumerates the potential effects of renewable energy on the environment.

Wind energy can impact wildlife, birds, and natural habitats. Land use and increased use of copper with the expansion of wind turbines can impact the environment.

Solar power’s impact on the environment would come from the use of materials during manufacturing and production.

Geothermal plants can still produce emissions depending on the technology used.

Biomass depending on how it is generated and harvested can affect land-use and add to global warming.

The article, “How the energy industry impacts the environment” on the Save on Energy website also provides some practical tips to do daily to lower GHG and CO2 emissions.

Some of us might be doing these already, like using reusable cups and bottles, replacing energy-saving bulbs, keeping the thermostat a few degrees warmer or cooler, recycling, walk or bike to work, and not to choose one-day shipping unless necessary.  

These acts might seem mundane, but done collectively can impact our environment and climate. Visit the “Save on Energy” website for further readings.

Source Citation:

How the energy industry impacts the environment. (2020, September 25). Save on Energy. Retrieved from

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