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Mission possible: new report offers optimism for combatting climate change

effects of industrial pollution

The group, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) brought us some promising news in their recent report revealing that industrial emissions can be eradicated at a cost of less than 1% of the global GDP, whilst having a negligible impact on living standards. It is no secret that industrial practice often takes a huge toll on environmental health.

The focus of the report was on the prime culprits of climate change – namely cement, steel, trucking, chemicals and aviation. These sectors collectively contribute to almost a third of global carbon dioxide emissions, and face huge challenges in reducing their carbon footprints.

ETC’s report, however, declares that it is “technically possible” to decarbonise all of these industries by the middle of next century. According to the extensive 172-page document, all they must do is:

  • Seek “much greater” energy efficiency to stimulate progress in the 2020s during the development of more innovative technologies
  • Reduce demand for carbon-intensive products through design and recycling
  • For those industries where carbon emissions are unavoidable (such as steel), a capture and storage system must be implemented (this is where carbon emissions are captured and then stored underground)

Lord Adair Turner, the chair of ETC says that, “making the transition involves a step change in the way we do things. It can be done and it won’t break the bank…but it will require real urgency from policy-makers, from business leaders and from investors and financiers.”