It causes a major disruption in marine life when the oceans become warmer, in effect 1/6th of fishes and all marine life could be over by the end of the century. It threatens plants and tree life around the world. It causes animal extinction and ultimately human life could come to an end.
Leading scientists around the world have made it clear that to prevent the worst effects of climate change, there needs to be a major change to our energy systems and this means we need to stop adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
Definition of Zero Carbon
- Carbon-free means no carbon-dioxide. A city which produces electricity from renewable sources like solar, wind or nuclear energy.
- Carbon-neutral means a city removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it puts in, by planting trees or through other carbon offsets.
- Renewable energy means the energy that comes from renewable sources like solar, wind or tidal.
- Clean energy means all renewable energy which includes energy and fossil fuel consumption with carbon capture tech.
Clean Energy in America
A number of major cities around the world are noticing the risks of climate change and are making relevant changes to reduce emissions. In recent months, there has been states and cities in the world that have pledged to get all electricity from carbon-free sources in the next few decades. Climate plans within these cities involve becoming carbon-neutral within the next 40-50 years.
In the Americas, states like California, Washington, Hawaii and others are leading the decarbonisation charge and have agreed to get all electricity from solar, wind or tidal energy by 2050. Other states like Nevada and Colorado have established an objective to go 100% carbon-free energy by that year also. More states within the US have proposed similar goals supporting this cause.
On a more local scale, governments within those states have committed to getting electricity from clean sources also. Businesses are also pushing for clean energy. Companies like Google, Nike and Facebook have committed fully to renewable goals.
Is Zero Carbon feasible?
Climate change is not only affecting life itself but also the global economy, so measures have been taken to slow it down. Energy analysts strongly believe that it is feasible. Mark Jacobson a director of the Atmosphere and Energy Program at Stanford University, expresses:
It’s technologically and economically possible, but there are social and political barriers.
It would cost the U.S alone about $9.5 trillion to transition the entire country’s entire energy economy, transportation, electricity, agriculture and industry to carbon-free sources.
The price to go fully clean and renewable energy will prove in the long run that the country would thrive economically and they would eliminate the health and climate costs.
It goes without saying that zero carbon is not an easy task to accomplish and some energy analysts and academics aren’t as confident as the aforementioned experts. They believe that it’s not as easy it may seem with just renewable energy, on an economy-wide scale. The challenges are too many even though it’s feasible.
California has around 40 million residents, so powering the state with renewable energy would require large amounts of energy storage and super infrastructure projects. On the other hand, many local governments within states cannot implement their vision because they simply don’t have the tools or capacity. These utilities usually work on a state level and not so much on a local level.
Climate Change is a global problem and must be prevented either way. Whether a state, a city or local town, every little action governments take, help prevent climate change.
Image Source by blog.nature.org