What is the role of industries in the fight against climate change? What are the strategies that companies can use to reduce emissions and improve ecosystems? How can industry create innovative products and services to combat climate change? We will discuss several strategies. We will also examine the role of technology. We will explore how technology can be developed to combat climate change. After all, no company wants to see its product or service go out of style. Despite the challenges, there are many ways to support climate action.
Industry’s role in addressing climate change
One of the biggest challenges facing policy makers is ensuring that industries are part of the solution to climate change. While the role of industry in addressing climate change is large, it must be done with the right mindset and strategies. The UNEP Emissions GAP Report outlines a number of effective climate-friendly strategies including the six-sector solution to reduce emissions enough to keep the world below the 1.5°C limit. UNEP’s six-sector solution can reduce between 29 to 32 gigatonnes CO2e annually by 2030 and the solutions are already available in the six-sectors which include Transport, Building and Cities, Energy, Industry, Agriculture Food & Waste, and Nature Based Solutions. By following these guidelines, industries will be able to remain competitive and stay profitable while being part of the solution to climate change.
Strategies to reduce emissions
There are several strategies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from industries. The Transport sector is responsible for one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, considering almost every industry relies on transportation of products, it is fair to say that vehicle emissions will continue to rise and can double by 2050. We can reduce up to 4.7 gigatonnes by simply adopting electric vehicles, some moving companies NZ have already begun utilizing readily available technology in their fleet. Encouraging private vehicles to convert to electric vehicles and adopting the change in public transport can make a significant impact. Investing in bike tracks, creating safe spaces and encouraging people to ride their bike, walk or use other forms of climate-friendly modes of transport.
The Energy sector has the potential to save 12.5 gigatonnes greenhouse gas emissions annually by shifting to renewable energy and using less energy. Industry can save 7.3 gigatonnes by implementing heating and cooling systems based on renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. Agriculture can save 8.2 gigatonnes greenhouse gas emissions by implementing new food production solutions such as plant-based diets and reducing food being spoilt from farm to fork and from wastage. We can also save 5.9 gigatonnes greenhouse gas emissions by stopping deforestation and investing in ecosystem restoration, this will help improve air quality, boost water and food security and help improve climate stability.
Investments in ecosystems
Increasing ecosystem resilience can help communities adapt to climate change. In addition to protecting communities from flooding and erosion, habitat restoration increases carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Additionally, increasing green space can provide health benefits and recreation opportunities. These benefits can be realized while supporting climate change adaptation and mitigation. Investments in ecosystem restoration can also help cities mitigate air pollution and flooding. Moreover, investments in ecosystems can provide a range of ecosystem services.
The health of our biosphere is being affected by rapid anthropogenic climate change. Changing climate patterns, ocean acidification, and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are just a few examples of the impacts of climate change. Ecosystems are also major sources of human resilience and support the adaptation of human societies to rapid environmental change. Moreover, ecosystems are not only vulnerable to climate change, but they can be key allies in meeting the challenges posed by climate change.
To achieve the net zero emissions target, technology is an important part of the solution. With strong government leadership, these key technologies can be implemented to meet the goal. Successive governments have stepped up their investment in technology development. In this Insight, we explore some of the key discussions surrounding technology and climate change.
The private sector must play a major role in technology development, but the funding isn’t enough to bring about widespread change. To make a real difference, governments must support energy-related R&D with substantial government funds. Government policies can establish market signals to encourage private investment. But this approach isn’t perfect. The policies must encourage innovation. Then the private sector must follow suit. This means a stronger public-private partnership between public and private sectors.