Here’s the recipe: Harness nature’s carbon-sequestering powers, combining it with the latest technological advancements, and adding a pinch of motivated political willpower. Green technology might be our last chance to realise global carbon-neutral goals and fix the climate mess… before it is too late.
The alarming levels of global warming (and subsequent climate change) are a direct indicator of the widened gap between the reality of CO2 emission and the goals. A global climate-conscious effort is now the need of the hour and an essentially sustainable lifestyle that also facilitates the survival of our very own nature.
History has witnessed impressive human capabilities to bring significant changes- be it the discovery and use of fossil fuels (that led to the first industrial revolution), or the search for alternative sources of energy (to cater to the growing demands across the globe while the conventional sources of energy are at the brink of exhaustion).
While companies like Tesla are disrupting the transport industry with their introduction of electric cars and quad bikes, these initiatives fail to be enough given the rate at which the world is still dependent on fossil fuels to meet its global energy demands.
According to the latest IPCC reports, the average annual GHG emissions were at their highest levels during the past decade. While the growth rate of emissions has slowed, limiting global warming to the targeted 1.50C levels is unlikely, owing to a lack of immediate and deep emissions reduction across all sectors.
“It’s now or never if we want to limit global warming to 1.50C. Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, it will be impossible”, IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Jim Skea.
Innovative solutions and accelerated technological advancement, in sync with sincere human efforts and grit, are a way to sail humanity out of the climate mess (that the world is experiencing currently).
Green Technology to combat climate change
Some integral solutions for efficient and transparent carbon management are classified under the umbrella term – Green Technology. This strategy is gaining momentum in the wake of rising concerns to address global warming and climate change. AIoT, Big Data, and blockchain are powerful technologies that hold the promise to beat climate change.
AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things)
A myriad of databases and backend systems are involved to categorise and organise huge chunks of data from multiple business units. This requires the employment of an equal volume of manual labour. Integrating AIoT to this segment would enable seamless sourcing of data depicting real-time activity levels. It also provides an asset inventory from a plethora of systems.
This technology leverages the structuring, collection, and transformation capabilities, thereby facilitating accurate monitoring and measurement of the emission levels. Additionally, it reduces overall efforts for data collection and enhances data quality (and report resolution).
AIoT also helps in creating insights based on real-time data. Thus, accurate process emissions can be effectively predicted by analysing this data. This can efficiently refine the evaluation of the performance of abatement measures and reduce the overall marginal abatement costs.
Historical and real-time big data solutions can help in identifying pressure points by locating sources of harmful emissions and their respective concentrations. The technology ensures transformative change by tapping the potentials within available data- advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The decentralised network of blockchain offers smart contract features that enable automate the enforcement of climate policies and regulations. In addition, it also enables the programming of incentives for businesses, individuals, and governments to comply with sustainable practices. Thus, smart contracts act as an incredible tool for mass participation in green practices globally.
Being in its nascent stage, green smart contracts have not enjoyed popularity in the past. With rapid growth over the past decade and intersection with other upcoming technologies, conscious efforts are giving it the required boost.
Tech alone can’t fix it
Technology offers sustainable solutions to manage global CO2 levels, enabling the world to meet net-zero pledges. However, technology has never been the cause of this climate mess. It is, therefore, logical not to put too much faith in it to be able to solve it entirely. Strong societal, political, and economic agendas are the driving factors for the application (and integration) of these advancements for realising the net-zero targets.
Technology is, certainly, a part of the solution. Nevertheless, it is only effective with collective human will and action.
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