4 Benefits of Decarbonisation
May 26 2022
With high-profile events such as COP26 in Glasgow commanding much media airtime, activists like Greta Thunberg addressing the UN and environmentally minded political parties such as the Greens making gains in recent local elections, the issue of decarbonisation is undoubtedly a hot potato at the moment. Governments, businesses and private citizens alike are encouraged to realign their way of thinking and reduce the harmful emissions they create.
But what, exactly, are the benefits of doing so? While combatting climate change and making sure that global warming does not exceed 1.5°C compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels is the ultimate goal, there are a host of other advantages associated with decarbonising our economy. We take a look at the major ones below.
A greener tomorrow
The number one benefit of decarbonisation is, without a doubt, the effect that it will have on our planet. At present, anthropogenic activity is having an outsized effect on the environment and the flora and fauna which call it home. Reducing harmful emissions will not only curb global warming, but it will bring extreme weather events back under control and ensure that we do not pass a tipping point from which there is no recovery. For the sake of future generations, it’s imperative we decarbonise now.
Of course, it’s not just our descendants who will benefit from a decarbonised – there are tangible health public benefits which will affect us our own offspring in an immediate sense. After all, using forward-thinking technologies to monitor and reduce the number of contaminants that are emitted into the air will not only counteract climate change, but it will also boost air quality. Given that air pollution is responsible for some seven million premature deaths worldwide, the public health impact of addressing it is huge.
The health consequences of a carbon-heavy world aren’t just measured in lost lives and hospitalisation statistics, but also the attendant impact on the public purse. According to research conducted by the New Climate Economy, expanding low-carbon technologies could result in economic benefits to the tune of $26 trillion by 2030. That takes many different forms, from reduced spending on health services to greater employee productivity to enhanced energy efficiency.
Futureproofing and self-sustainability
By phasing out the use of fossil fuels – which are both finite and concentrated in the hands of select resource-rich nations – in favour of renewable sources of power generation such as solar, wind and wave, we can futureproof our societies against the resource scarcity that will ultimately arrive, even if not for centuries or more. What’s more, having the means to power our homes and businesses on our own soil means that importing energy from other nations could become a thing of the past, thus reducing reliance on others and enhancing self-sustainability.
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