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The Paris Climate Deal; Outcomes on Industries

In response to the word “pollution” or “climate change”, one thing that might come to mind is “industry” and there might be a good reason for this. Industry and Industrial processes do account for a large portion of carbon emissions. With climate change starting to receive a vocal representation, change is very likely to happen within the coming days; according to recent political motions, industries might be at the forefront of that change. One such action taken in response to climate change is the Paris Climate Agreement.

The goal of the Paris Climate Agreement is to find a balance between climate change mitigation as well as adaptation. The Paris Climate Agreement aims to unite governments to put their best efforts in reducing their own emission levels. Countries can choose the level of emissions they want to reduce. Although one of the biggest complaints was that there’s little to no obligation for any country to meet their goals, many countries have still managed to set goals for themselves, their attempts to reach those goals by others are being made. As a result, many analytical studies are taking place regarding emissions and climate change forecasts. From all of this talk among high levels of power comes a lot of uncertainties and theories about forecasting various outcomes and effects.

According to a Cambridge University report on Climate Change Mitigation, the leading cause of emissions comes from fossil fuel burning for industrial purposes[1]. This report brings attention to the concentration levels of greenhouse gas emissions. It stated that limiting atmospheric concentration as well as lowering concentration levels are necessary to limit temperature change. The report also stresses that there is a cost and burden sharing effect between countries and that the longer we delay attempts to mitigate impacts the greater the cost sharing becomes. But apart from all this forecasting, talking about actions can help create an understanding of cause and effects on industries.

The EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency) website provides a great overview to the industrial impact on emission levels. Industrial emissions come in two forms, direct and indirect. Direct emissions come from the industrial process itself while indirect come from off-site production (such as burning fuels for electricity). The EPA also provides ways the industry may change its habits. Some of these ideas include changing fuel usage, aiming to be more energy efficient, specialized training for workers and recycling.

So what changes to the industries are being made? How do these changes impact the output and productivity of the industry? The article “Can the Global Cement Industry cut its Carbon Emissions?” brings our attention to the cement industry[2]. According to the article, the cement industry accounts for 7% of global carbon emissions. Taking part of the Paris Climate Agreement, the cement industry is aiming to lower that percentage. But there is a unique challenge facing it, a rising demand for cement, especially among developing countries.

After changing the recipe for cement resulting in using less fossil fuels, emissions have been reduced, but it’s a rising demand that has prevented the total emission level from decreasing. But there might be a solution to this issue. Germany has raised the idea of carbon neutral concrete. It aims to have it ready by 2050, just in time for the Paris Climate Agreement. Another idea is the creation of a decarbonization process concrete that is capable of absorbing CO2.

According to the same article, Catham House research published that 4500 different patents have been applied over 15 years. A small note is that some of these patents have been commercialized and therefore makes things more difficult to bring public attention. But non-the less, innovation is happening to meet the Paris Climate Agreement.

One argument against greener industries is that it will hamper productivity and economic prospects. But according to the article, that doesn’t seem to be the case. When it comes to facing new challenges (self-imposed or not) smart people will certainly find a way to come up with new solutions to overcome problems. Industries certainly seem to be changing to meet a greener standard.

 

[1] (https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/ipcc_wg3_ar5_full.pdf)

[2] https://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/11379-Can-the-global-cement-industry-cut-its-carbon-emissions-

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