Tackling the Blaze of Climate Change

By 15 January 2020General

Week 10 into the Australia bushfires. Is this only the start of what’s to come for Australia? How many more people, animals, homes and acres need to be lost before action is taken on the climate change crisis? These recent events may be the catalyst for change necessary to prompt action.

Due to climate change, Australia is experiencing increasingly drier and hotter summers, further exasperating the bush fires they regularly see, making them bigger, last longer and more relentless.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has denied any ‘direct’ link between global climate change and the bush fires. Australia and its Government’s stance on energy appears to prioritise the needs of business above actions to cut carbon emissions.

Carbon Brief highlights why Mr Morrison couldn’t be more wrong “Wildfires need four ingredients”  explained Prof Nerilie Abram, a climate scientist at the Australian National University, in a piece for the Scientific American: “Available fuel, dryness of that fuel, weather conditions that aid the rapid spread of fire and an ignition.” Climate change plays a role because it is “making Australian wildfires larger and more frequent because of its effects on dryness and fire weather”.

This can be supported by the fact that Australia has one of the highest levels of CO2 emissions per capita in the world, they are one of the biggest exporters of coal and are unlikely to meet their highly modest reduction target of 26% to 28%, by 2030 (Australian Government Website). This does, however, raise an interesting point on where other major countries such as China and India need to position themselves, in order to have a meaningful impact on global emissions.

If we look closer to home, how can we fight climate change? one way is green energy. Producing less pollution, helping to protect the environment and provide cleaner air and water, ultimately working against our climate crisis.

In fact, a push for green and renewable energy will have a huge impact on the future of the energy industry worldwide and ultimately our planet. It seems clear that we are not currently doing enough; the International Energy Agency has said carbon emissions from the global energy industry reached a new record in 2018 despite progress in renewable energy in recent years.

‘Global energy consumption in 2018 increased at nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world. Demand for all fuels increased, led by natural gas, even as solar and wind posted double-digit growth.’

That being said they also predict the growth of renewables to accelerate over the coming decades but warned it would not be enough to put a ceiling on the energy sector’s emissions before 2050.

So, what is the UK’s response to this crisis? The British Government has made it clear they want to be global leaders in tackling climate change and using renewable sources to support the country’s energy needs. They have made ambitious pledges such as reaching net on all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve this, the emissions from homes, transport, farming, and industry will need to be hugely reduced. We are already seeing some key changes to the country’s stance on green energy, for example, introducing clean air zones around the UK’s cities and phasing out the use of coal as an energy source.

The burning of fossil fuels is one of the biggest drivers of the climate emergency and encourages natural disasters, so undoubtedly the use of renewable energy sources will decrease the likelihood of more catastrophes such as the wildfires in Australia, major floods in the UK as well as storms in China.

Following a year with record-breaking dates for green energy, we are clearly in the early stages of a major shift towards renewable energy. There is a significant amount of progress to be made but there is clear evidence that the shift towards green energy and a cleaner planet has dramatically begun.

At Utility Team we encourage our customers to choose cleaner energy and to be more energy-efficient. We have a number of ways we can help your business work towards a greener planet, contact us today; 02476 997 901 / enquiries@utilityteam.co.uk

 

Article written by Sarah Ledwidge, Key Account Manager