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Monday, July 15, 2024

How technology and environment are interrelated

Over the past two decades, carbon emissions have been dramatically reduced because of the technologies such as improved insulation, triple-glazing, and renewables on-site, such as solar panel systems and ground heat pump source-based. 

The climate catastrophe is the most significant threat our civilization has ever faced. The good news is that we have got all the tools needed to fight against it. The key is not coming up with solutions initially but quickly implementing them. This article examines the latest technological progress and awareness about environmental issues across all spheres of life worldwide. The million-dollar question is whether these advancements can help alleviate the global environmental crises.

Transportation accounts for 14 to 28 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Transport faces particular issues in areas such as long-haul flights. However, there are technological solutions available now. Electric vehicles are among the best choices. Cars powered by petrol and diesel will not likely be produced in Europe soon.

Read more: HBL – A ‘Technology Company with a Banking License’

Electric vehicle sales are increasing all over the world

Additionally, combustion engines are getting more efficient and cleaner. The scooter and bike programs are growing as cities embrace electric micro-mobility. Greener ships capable of transporting international freight are on the way. In cases where electrification isn’t feasible, the possibility of using hydrogen is growing for more sustainable trains. This will eventually become the next step for ships and, perhaps in the future, aircraft. The industry is anticipating electric short-haul aircraft to be on the market earlier. The recent epidemic has proven that a sustainable society can be envisioned and that many people will be willing to plunge and live into a world that demands fewer trips to work and commutes.

Deforestation and land use changes are the second biggest cause of human emissions. The destruction of forests around the globe was unstoppable during the whole crisis, leading to millions of hectares lost to land caused by land clearing. There are, however, positive signs. The UK has placed environmental protection as the primary priority during this year’s Cop26 presidency. On the other side, it is pushing for more commitments and funding from countries with forests to protect the remaining carbon banks worldwide. Indonesia, as well as Malaysia, was previously hotspots of deforestation. They have suffered substantial losses in recent years due to the increased restrictions on plantations for palm oil. However, Brazil’s soybean moratorium of the 2000s has proven that this trend can be reversed.

Additionally, there is growing recognition of the importance of indigenous communities in protecting the forests around the globe. Research shows that indigenous communities are the most potent forest protectors. Their power to rule themselves is vital to stop the destruction of forests.

The emissions from tech companies, including direct emissions from electricity usage and other processes like manufacturing, make up 0.3 percent of carbon emissions worldwide. The emissions from cryptocurrency are a growing problem. Mining is an energy-intensive process and is expected to become increasingly energy intensive as the algorithms become more complex. But, modern mining techniques have proven to be more effective and are less detrimental.

Read more: How governments can help in technology-led economic development?

A technique known as “proof of stake” is 99% lower in carbon footprint. The level of environmental scrutiny for the entire tech industry is increasing, and businesses have committed to becoming more sustainable than they were. Amazon aims to be carbon-free in 2040 and powered by 100 renewable energy sources by 2025. Facebook has set itself a goal of zero net emissions in its supply chain in 2025. Microsoft has pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2030. Apple has committed to becoming carbon-neutral in its supply chain by 2030.

Exxon Mobil has been the most well-known company to deny climate change for many years. But this year, environmentalists took over Exxon Mobil’s board of directors election, forcing the company to confront environmental catastrophe. There are signs of change throughout the corporate world of America as well as around the world. There’s a shift at the Federal Reserve, the world’s most powerful central bank, extending its team’s strength to deal with climate change. The time to deny climate change has ended. Many big companies realize that failing to invest can cost more since global warming is destroying economies.

Renewable energy is expected to play a growing part in electric systems across the globe. The drastic drop in the price of wind and solar energy has led to the development of electric vehicles and energy storage technologies, like batteries. The cost of batteries is falling as well. Soon the power of solar and wind can be used to produce a large amount of green hydrogen. This could be stored over extended periods to generate electricity during days when it’s less bright or breezy.

How can we do better?

The built environment is among society’s biggest polluters and accounts for about 40% of all carbon emissions. Over the past two decades, carbon emissions have been dramatically reduced because of the technologies such as improved insulation, triple-glazing, and renewables on-site, such as solar panel systems and ground heat pump source-based.

The global livestock industry’s impact is enormous, accounting for around 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, a large producer of livestock realizes their environmental responsibilities. New Zealand now has a legally binding agreement to cut methane emissions from agriculture to 10 percent by 2030. Additionally, Denmark has set a legally binding goal of reducing carbon emissions from the agricultural industry by 55 percent by 2030. While global meat production is increasing, there is a growing shift towards fish and poultry, which have lower carbon emissions than red meats. The global food industry is developing many low-carbon products based on plant protein, like soy and pea, and cultivating lab-grown and insect-based meats.

Read more: Technology exports of Pakistan declined sharply by 27 percent

In the present climate crisis, every bit of progress is vital; consequently, every step can help ease people’s suffering. Every step helps to make the world a more beautiful and healthier place to live in. For instance taking, for example, reducing the amount of pollutant that kills a lot of people every year.

The energy source behind Green Transition is a mixture of more valuable intangible elements like political will and commitment. The amount of energy is growing due to the demands for action by informed societies. The race to design an environmentally sustainable, low-carbon future is in full swing. The COP26 conference scheduled for Glasgow will show how quickly we will move forward.


Dr. Abid Rashid Gill is the Chairman of the Economics Department, and Director of Green Campus, the Islamia University Bahawalpur, Pakistan. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.