Climate change influencing on twitter

According to K CORE analytics, I am @annemariayritys the top #18 climate change influencer on Twitter, after UN Secretary General Mr. Antonio Guterres and UN FCCC on the top of the list of climate change influencers. You can follow me on Twitter @annemariayritys and @GCCthinkacttank

Thank you to @HansLak #Mission2030 and K CORE Analytics for the mention.

Keep up the important work!

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Microsoft Stockholm

How Is Technology Fast Tracking The Global Climate Goals? Case Microsoft

In November 2019 I was contacted by Microsoft EMEA ́s communications team in Finland and Germany. They found my profile on social media, and invited me to participate as a climate change and sustainability influencer at their event “How Technology is Fast Tracking The Global Climate Goals” in Stockholm. The event took place at urban five star Hotel At Six near Microsoft Sweden ́s new headquarters in Stockholm City Center on November 28th. 

In addition to Microsoft hosting the event, influencers, journalists and researchers from around the EMEA region had been invited to participate as well as some of Microsoft ́s global clients and partners that were giving presentations upon their areas of business and expertise, in terms of how these businesses respectively are driving the global climate goals through the application of both artificial intelligence and technology throughout their supply chains.

The moderator and one of the speakers of the event was strategist and analyst Azeem Azhar from Exponential view, who is also a member of the Expert Network and on the Global Future Council on the Digital Economy & Society at the World Economic Forum. The panelists and speakers were Ben Combes, Assistant Director and senior economist in the Sustainability and Climate Change team at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Luc Domissy, Global Sales Manager at SGS/Transparency One, Xavier Houot, Senior Vice President Global Environment, Safety, and Real Estate at Schneider Electric, David Martin, Vice President Government Relations Ecolab Europe and Market Head France and Belgium at Ecolab, Ignacio Longarte from startup Szentia, Cecilia Nord, Director Responsible Sourcing at Electrolux, Johan Martinsson, Digital Operations Lead Global IT at Electrolux, Juha Maijala, Deputy Head Intelligent Packaging at Stora Enso, and Nina Lund, Retail & Consumer Goods lead at Microsoft EMEA. 

What was being discussed at Microsoft ́s event “How Technology Is Fast Tracking The Global Goals”?

The event was fully packed with information, some of which was confidential, so addressing this in depth in one article or blog post is an impossible task. To keep it brief, Microsoft as one of the world ́s largest organizations together with its clients and partners is addressing the world ́s perhaps largest challenge climate change and taking actions with the help of artificial intelligence and technology to solve the global climate crisis.

Although artificial intelligence and technology alone hardly will be capable of solving the global climate crisis, it is estimated that with the help of artificial intelligence and technology, at least five percent could be reduced in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is still far from the much needed reduction of 90% in greenhouse gas emissions. To meet the Paris Agreement, all stakeholders involved would have to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

The main takeaways from the event were: 

  • The largest greenhouse gas impacts are within the supply chain (75% of total emissions), which is why every business worldwide, backed-up by science-based insights, must drive the reduction of emissions (Azeem Azhar, Exponential View)
  • Research by PwC UK, commissioned by Microsoft, has identified more than 150 AI applications for key Earth challenges; meaning that emerging technologies with artificial intelligence at the core, can be transformational in terms of tackling the world ́s most urgent environmental challenges (Ben Combes, PricewaterhouseCoopers)
  • AI can enable future technology and systems to be more productive and help reduce waste in terms of the global economy and environment, thus increasing sustainable economic development
  • The mapping of any business supply chain helps build consumer trust and influences end-customer behavior to prioritize sustainability (Luc Domissy, SGS/Transparency One)
  • Sustainability across supply chains, circular, low CO2 and profitable business models (Xavier Houot, Schneider Electric)
  • Fresh water is a scarce resource, and water sustainability must be at the core of each carbon neutral or carbon negative program. Companies can provide better products at lower costs while saving water (David Martin, Ecolab)
  • How do you mainstream environmental performance in a globalized world where every organization is becoming a technology company? 
  • How can brands be moved into the circular economy through blockchain-based solutions? (Ignacio Longarte, Szentia)
  • Electrolux wants to be the best appliance company worldwide, committing to zero carbon emissions from their facilities and striving towards circularity across the business (Cecilia Nord & Johan Martinsson, Electrolux)
  • Stora Enso is a pioneer in externally approved science-based targets to reduce the company’s greenhouse gas emissions. Fossil-based materials can be replaced by trees (Juha Maijala, Stora Enso)
  • How can circular economy become the “new normal”? 

While many climate change skeptics worldwide are still denying anthropogenic climate change, claiming that climate change is a hoax and that climate change would be used as an excuse for businesses around the world to make money, this is far from the truth. There is plenty of research and scientific evidence supporting the fact that human activities, mainly in the form of emitting high amounts of greenhouse gases into the Earth´s atmosphere, are causing global warming and climate change. Not only is rapid population growth at the core of the environmental problems, but also the way we live and consume on this planet. Making circular economies the “new normal” and businesses around the world taking science-based and carefully planned action in terms of reducing or even eliminating greenhouse gas emissions is no longer merely a competitive advantage for businesses.

Climate action and sustainable economic development have become a must for everyone, that is if we want to enable future generations a healthy planet to live on. Despite the currently even dramatic outlook for the global environment, it is far better to take action now and to prepare for the worst-case scenario rather than remaining in a state of non-action. In fact, non-action in terms of environmental sustainability and sustainable economic development is the worst thinkable solution. Artificial intelligence and various technological advancements may be key solutions for saving humanity. 

Anne-Maria Yritys

 

 

 

 

 

GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

What Is The Best Way of Taking Climate Action?

We are having a record warm January in Finland. No snow here in the South. Usually, we have temperatures up to more than -20 degrees Celsius in Southern Finland this time of the year. December was also warmer than average, with mostly rainfall. However, my heart is right now with Australia which is suffering from apocalyptic wildfires. If we just could send some of Finland’s rain to Australia now.

I am switching my electricity source from a combination of hydro, solar and wind to 100% wind energy. I found a service provider that is building onshore wind energy in Finland, and which is cooperating with for instance Google.

Why am I switching to 100% wind energy? Wind energy is by far the most environmentally friendly source of electricity/energy of all the options available on the energy market right now. 

Not only is wind power competitive in terms of pricing:

According to for instance the IHA (International Hydropower Association), onshore wind energy has by far the lowest lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions per kWh (kilowatt hour) among all energy sources, with only 11 gCO2 equivalent/kWh in comparison with for instance coal, the equivalent of which is 820 gCO2/kWh. That makes wind energy more than 74 times less polluting than coal.

Choosing energy and electricity sources with the lowest CO2 level possible is the single largest climate and environmental act that anyone can do right now. The effects of choosing clean energy are by far larger than any other climate action that can and should be taken.

Anne-Maria Yritys

 

Finnish Red Cross Logistics Center, Tampere, Finland

Why Is Climate Change A Humanitarian Crisis?

Climate change knows no national borders.

– Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

 

Why has climate change become a humanitarian crisis? 

Here are some of the facts: 

  • According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC 2019), in 2018 alone more than 17 million (17.000.000) people in 144 countries and territories were internally displaced due to disaster within their own home country. 
  • Between 2008-2018, over 265 million (265.000.000) people were internally displaced because of disasters. 
  • The UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) states that most displacements due to climate change are currently internal, although the amount of climate or environmental migrants may increase drastically due to climate change. 
  • According to some estimations, by 2050 the amount of climate or environmental migrants may be as high as one billion (1.000.000.000) people due to natural disasters and weather-related catastrophes such as drought, floods, or severe storms that in the worst case can lead to famine. 

Climate change is a humanitarian crisis. Currently, 108 million (108.000.000) people worldwide need humanitarian aid each year due to catastrophes caused by climate change, including extreme weather events such as drought, floods, and severe storms (hurricanes) or even tsunamis. 

Many international organizations worldwide are prepared to help when it comes to climate change and humanitarian crisis. For instance the IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies), founded in Switzerland in 1919 by Henry Dunant, has a voluntary base of 14 million (14.000.000) people in 190 countries worldwide. Red Cross volunteers around the world help those in need both before, during and after catastrophes. 

The Red Cross identifies following elements to moderate climate change: 

  • Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Circular economies
  • Carbon neutral energy (markets)
  • Carbon neutral transportation 
  • Desired technological breakthroughs

The Red Cross identifies following consequences of climate change: 

  • Storm destruction
  • Extreme temperatures 
  • Sea levels rising
  • Drought
  • Plunging rain 
  • Disruptions in food production
  • Scarce resources 
  • Disruptions in environmental parameters

The Red Cross identifies following reflections of the consequences of climate change: 

  • Water crisis
  • Nutrition crisis
  • Health crisis
  • Embrittlement or breakdown of states 
  • Crisis in international multilateral system
  • Migration of people
  • Resource conflicts 
  • Other conflicts 

I recently visited the Finnish Red Cross logistics center in Tampere, Finland, together with a group of climate influencers and FRC volunteers, to learn more about the catastrophe work of the Finnish Red Cross. As a Finnish Red Cross member and active volunteer, much of the organization’s work was already familiar to me. Visiting the logistics center with the group of climate influencers, however, gave me some new perspectives on the importance of disaster preparedness work of the Finnish Red Cross. The organization is continuously aiding those in need both domestically and internationally.

Some of the Finnish Red Cross international work includes sending clothing aid to selected countries worldwide, and sending field hospitals along with aid staff to catastrophe regions upon aid requests from the country in need of humanitarian assistance. We discussed the role of the Finnish Red Cross and the IFRC in terms of aiding those affected by catastrophes both domestically and internationally. Long-term Finnish Red Cross staff and international delegates shared their expertise and experiences with us, from arranging logistics to actually spending even long periods of time as an aid worker (delegate) in a specific catastrophe area. 

 

 

Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020

Why Is Our World In A Freshwater Crisis?

Without water, there would be no life on our planet. A human being can survive without food or nutrition for months, but without clean, fresh water for only a couple of days. Lack of clean, fresh water is a worldwide disaster that already affects billions of people. Wastewater, on a global level, accounts for seven percent (7%) of all anthropogenic methane emissions. Not only is wastewater emitting large amounts of methane, but does contain many kinds of contaminants, bacteria and chemicals such as phosphorus and nitrogen nutrients, harmful for both our environment and for human beings. (Global Methane Initiative 2019; HSY 2019).

The European Union ́s water frame directive defines the minimum level of wastewater treatment in the European Union member states, including Finland. Finland, however, has its own stricter wastewater treatment regulation based upon Finnish legislation. In fact, Finland as a country ranks as having some of the cleanest waters worldwide: tap water is clean and safe to drink, since wastewater treatment uses advanced technologies allowing for wastewater treatment plants in Finland to process wastewater removing up to 95% of chemicals throughout the treatment process. For instance in Finland, dirt is being transformed into biogas and soil. (Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plant 2019).

Why then, does wastewater treatment matter? Why is it important to purify both household and industrial water? If wastewater is not being treated, i.e. purified, it causes horrible odors. However, this is probably the smallest of all problems involved with dirty water, which unless treated, contains bacteria, chemicals and (other) toxins harmful both to our environment and to human health. Despite having some of the cleanest water and best water treatment facilities worldwide, Finland also experienced a water contamination crisis in Nokia in 2007. Through a single human mistake, hundreds of thousands of liters of wastewater at Nokia´s water treatment plant ended up mixed with purified water. Since the mistake was not immediately noticed, and communication failed, thousands of Nokia inhabitants ended up drinking the contaminated water and got sick – some for months, others still today have to deal with health problems that can be traced back to them having drunk contaminated water. The Nokia case led to improvements not only in crisis communication throughout Finland ́s municipalities, but also to all wastewater treatment plants in Finland being checked for any possible leakages and other risks. A decade after the Nokia contaminated water crisis the case was brought up again by media in Finland and acts as a reference case. 

Wastewater treatment is important both for the environment and for human health. The FAO states that wastewater treatment is necessary in order to avoid both environmental and health risks, and identifies the need for some degree of wastewater treatment before considering the usage of raw municipal wastewater to aquaculture, agriculture or landscape irrigation. In other words, dirty water should not be used directly anywhere. (FAO Corporate Document Repository – 3. Wastewater treatment). The Global Methane Initiative states that anaerobic decomposition of organic material during the treatment of wastewater leads to methane emissions. Moreover, in countries with less advanced technologies for wastewater treatment, methane emissions from wastewater are higher. (Global Methane Initiative. Municipal Wastewater Methane: Reducing Emissions, Advancing Recovery and Use Opportunities).

The United Nations identifies that the majority of human activity involving water also produces wastewater, followed by the fact that most wastewater worldwide is being released into our environment without any kind of treatment, with an exception to most highly developed countries. In its World Water Development Report 2017, the UN presents wastewater as an untapped resource, whereby wastewater treatment worldwide is necessary to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In the World Water Development Report, the UN discusses the various aspects directly related to wastewater and its treatment, including general governance, technical aspects of wastewater, wastewater in municipalities and urban areas, wastewater from industry, agriculture and in various ecosystems, followed by wastewater by geographical region. As a conclusion, the UN suggests several response options in terms of wastewater management.

In a world with continuously growing demands for freshwater, it is simultaneously becoming an increasingly much scarce resource. Billions of people worldwide also lack access to clean water. Unless resolved, it is a vicious circle leading to both environmental and health problems. The UN sees the potential for both business and sustainable development through wastewater management/treatment. (The United Nations World Water Development Report 2017).

The OECD (2015), Environment at a Glance 2015: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264235199-en highlights countries that have managed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, improved waste and water management processes, and have a higher usage of renewable energy sources. In this report, the OECD states how significant freshwater resources are both on social and economic levels, and for the environment. It also identifies that overall water quality is impacted by water abstraction, anthropogenic pollution loads, climate, and weather.

With majority of wastewater worldwide neither being collected, nor treated, the vast majority of the world population is exposed to wastewater. Moreover, at least 2/3 of world population live in areas where they are faced with water scarcity for at least one month each year. When wastewater is being directly dumped into the environment without any treatment, this only worsens the water scarcity that already affects much of the world ‘s population. 

If and when we know how harmful it is to both animals, the environment, and human beings to use contaminated water, then why do we allow this to continue on a global scale? 

According to the Finnish Red Cross, every single hour 33 children worldwide die due to lack of fresh, clean water. That makes 792 dead children every day. 289.080 unnecessary deaths every year, only due to the lack of clean and fresh water. If we managed our freshwater resources better, this could all be avoided. For instance, the Red Cross distributes 500.000 litres of clean water  every day at the Al-Hol refugee camp in Syria, a country that has suffered severely from a war that has been going on for more than eight (8) years by now. Some sources claim that the origin of the Syrian war can be traced back to climate change issues, and environmental problems. 

Freshwater is also a basic human right, which should not be privatized or seen as a luxury product available only for the privileged. Why then, is for instance India facing its worst freshwater crisis ever? Where people living in slums hardly get any clean water and if they do, it is a constant battle. In countries like Tadzhikistan, where people depend on freshwater from the mountain glaciers, the battle for access to clean water is equally hard. These people can spend the vast majority of their days just to find clean water since they lack the resources to build even the simplest engineered systems to bring them some of the clean freshwater melting from the glaciers. The 21st century will be significant in the history of homo sapiens in terms of (the lack of) clean freshwater. In the Middle East, an effort to tackle the lack of freshwater is to import an entire iceberg from Antarctica. Can we afford to experiment with the environment and nature this way? Time will tell, and until then let us find out intelligent ways to solve the freshwater crisis, starting with (improved) wastewater management practices. 

Please share your thoughts and ideas concerning this article. If you found this helpful and/or interesting, do also share it with your social media networks. Access one of my previous articles here: Why Are Landfills Significant Sources Of Global Methane Emissions?

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my latest posts delivered personally to you.

 

 

 

GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

Highlights From The UN Climate Action Summit 2019

Some of the many highlights, and a few positive news, from the UN Climate Action Summit that took place in New York on September 21st to September 23rd 2019:

  • 2015-2019 have been the five hottest years ever. According to UN Secretary General António Guterres, nature is angry, and nature is striking back: “Seas are rising, and oceans are acidifying. Glaciers are melting, and corals are bleaching. Droughts are spreading, and wildfires are burning. Deserts are expanding, and access to water is dwindling. Heat waves are scorching, and natural disasters are multiplying. Storms everywhere are more intense, more frequent, more deadly. I ́ve seen it with my own eyes.” 
  • New Zealand ́s gross emissions peaked in 2006. Over 80% of New Zealand’s electricity already comes from renewable hydro and wind. New Zealand has begun an ambitious agenda according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Furthermore, New Zealand is strengthening its ETS (emissions trading scheme) and aims to plant one billion (1.000.000.000) trees by 2028, and has a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2023 along with many other ambitious actions. 
  • Marshall Islands is one of the world ́s most ambitious countries in the world when it comes to fighting the climate crisis. The Marshall Islands has declared a national climate crisis. President of the Marshall Islands, Hilda Heine, wants to empower girls and women in the fight for climate justice. 
  • Iceland already runs 100% on renewable energy.
  • Finland targets at becoming carbon neutral by 2033, and carbon negative by 2035. The climate program of Finland ́s new government (2019-2023) is one of the most ambitious in the world.
  • Pakistan has planted 1 BILLION trees within a short time period, and is about to plant another 10 BILLION trees in the near future, although the country is responsible for “only” 1% of total global GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.
  • The businesses, states and cities that are targeting net zero emissions and combating climate change in the United States together form the 4th largest economy in the world. According to Michael Bloomberg, since Beyond Coal was launched in 2011, more than half of coal plants in the U.S. have been closed: 297 out of 530. Net zero emissions is an ambitious but achievable goal, states Bloomberg. Bloomberg Philanthropies targets at phasing out coal in the whole world for instance by working together with countries around the world to accelerate new clean energy projects and by bringing together public and private sector leaders. 
  • The Mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, states that the city targets net zero emissions through ambitious climate action, for instance by reducing emissions by 55% by 2030. Montreal has also launched a project called “Zero Carbon Building”. Furthermore, when combating climate change it is important to keep in mind the interconnection between climate change and social injustice, and problems that need to be taken care of.  
  • Germany announces new climate protection package: “Germany’s coalition government plans to invest 54 BILLION euros to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The new climate protection package includes incentives for buying electric cars and measures to help households transition from using heating oil”. Currently, Germany alone accounts for 2% of all global greenhouse gas emissions.

Watch the whole UN Climate Action Summit 2019 here:

Guardian News: World leaders attend 2019 UN climate action summit – watch live

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Join us at Global Climate Change Think & Act Tank on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter:

GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019
Global Climate Change Think Act Tank 2019

 

 

 

 

Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020

Why Is Coal Mining Environmentally Damaging?

Coal, which is primarily used as a liquid fuel, in cement manufacturing, steel production and electricity generation, accounts for an estimated nine per cent (9%) of total methane emissions worldwide. (Global Methane Initiative 2018; World Coal Association 2017). The top 10 coal producers worldwide account for 90% of total coal emissions: China, India, USA,  Australia, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Germany, Poland, and Kazakhstan. (IEA. 2017.) 

According to the International Energy Agency, total coal production declined more than ever since the IEA began its recordings in 1971, with a drop of 458 Mt down to 7.268.6 Mt in comparison to 2015, despite the fact that India, Russia, and Indonesia increased production in 2016.

The World Coal Association states that around 15 percent of all hard coal production is  destined for the international coal market, with the largest exporters being Australia, Indonesia, Russia, Colombia, South Africa, USA, Netherlands, Canada, Mongolia and Kazakhstan. China is the leading importer of coal, followed by India, Japan, Korea, Chinese Taipei, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia and the Russian Federation. (IEA 2017.)

Furthermore, the World Coal Association states that coal is a fossil fuel, i.e. the transformed residues of prehistoric vegetation, developed and formed throughout millions of years into energy containing coal. Greenpeace lists strip mines as the most harmful since it leaves permanent scars on the environment, including soil erosion and ruination of agricultural land, leading to the pollution of waterways when topsoil is being washed by rain, mixing up natural landscapes. 

Another environmental problem caused by coal, estimated by Greenpeace, are coal fires that can burn for decades, or even centuries, polluting our environment with chemicals and toxins that are invisible to the human eye. Greenpeace, which is campaigning to stop investments to any fossil fuel projects, has witnessed and published a case study/full report about Coal Mines Polluting South Kalimantan ́s Water. (Greenpeace, December 2014.) The report summarizes and reveals that intensive coal mining activities in this Indonesian region has led to the release of toxic pollution from coal mining into rivers while violating national standards for wastewater releases from coal mines.

While the damaging nature and risks of coal mining for the overall environment is well-known, the World Coal Association aims to develop and lead the global coal mining industry into a “pathway of zero emissions from coal” with advanced clean technologies allowing for the coal mining industry to minimize its impacts on the environment. The World Coal Association suggests that HELE power generation could reduce CO2 emissions from coal mining by more than a third. 

How about methane emissions from coal mining? The United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA estimates that methane emissions from coal mining will continue to increase and be responsible for nine per cent (9%) of total global methane emissions by 2020, whereby methane is many times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. According to various estimations, methane (CH4) is up to 25 times as powerful as a greenhouse gas in comparison with carbon dioxide (CO2). 

Are zero methane emissions from coal mining a possibility? Learn more by watching ICE-CMM Poland ́s video “Clark Talkington – Achieving nea zero methane emissions from coal mine mining”:

 

Note from author: I originally wrote and published this article on December 4th 2017 on my website annemariayritys.com and on LinkedIn as a part of my climate change research. USGS states that in addition to peat, which is a precursor to coal, the four actual types of coal are anthracite, bituminous, subbituminous, and lignite. According to Leonard, Michaelides, and Michaelides (Energy Conversion and Management Volume 164, 2018), the substitution of coal with renewables can be optimized but not fully replaced. The World Coal Association lists electricity generation, steel production, cement manufacturing and the usage of coal as a liquid fuel as the four most significant purposes of the global coal industry. Moreover, the construction industry worldwide accounts for the vast majority of the need for steel and cement, which are used as building blocks in most of construction, unless cement and steel are being replaced with other options.  

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank. Subscribe to my newsletter at annemariayritys.com to receive my latest posts delivered directly to you. 

Anne-Maria Yritys 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020

Why Does The Global Oil Industry Remain One of The Largest Anthropogenic Methane Emitters Worldwide?

The oil/petroleum industry, together with the gas industry, account for a significant 24% of all anthropogenic methane emissions on a global average. In the United States, for instance, natural gas and petroleum systems currently are the cause of 31% of all methane emissions, although there has been a decrease of 16% in total methane emissions in the United States between 1990 and 2015. (Global Methane Initiative 2010; Environmental Protection Agency 2015.)

OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela), recently published World Oil Outlook 2040, a comprehensive analytical report on the current developments in the global petroleum industry and its outlooks for the upcoming two decades, up to 2040. OPEC states in World Oil Outlook 2040 the current major changes and extreme volatility within the oil industry, with OECD commercial oil inventories dropping by more than 50% within less than a year, from the beginning of 2017 up to September 2017. OPEC estimates that sustainable market stability within the industry is necessary to avoid long-term negative consequences for all stakeholders and the overall global economy.

Secretary General of OPEC, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, states that all 14 OPEC member countries have signed the Paris Agreement, and recognize the need for energy efficiency and the development of cleaner energy technologies. OPEC estimates global energy demand increasing by 35% from 2015 to 2040, with India and China leading the demand. Moreover, regardless of the rapid average annual growth (6.8%) of renewable energy sources (wind, photovoltaic, solar and geothermal energy), the total share of renewable energy sources is estimated to be rather low yet by 2040 on a global level. While overall global oil demand is projected to increase, oil demand in OECD countries will drop significantly. Total oil demand will slow down in the long-term with the oil industry being challenged by other sources of energy, such as renewables. OPEC also states that advancements in energy efficiency is known to have a central role in emission reduction policies, whereby government policies have a significant impact on the development of energy markets.

The OPEC member countries are identifying energy efficiency and climate change mitigation as a top priority, having signed the Paris Agreement and many of the OPEC member countries investing heavily in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind. Despite OPEC ́s projections in its World Oil Outlook 2040 for oil accounting for more than half of total energy demand in 2040, estimating that the importance of gas and nuclear will continue to grow regardless of growth in other renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, OPEC identifies a number of uncertainties within the global energy sector, especially in regard to the worldwide oil market. These uncertainties are identified by the OPEC including: pace of technological advancements, including big data, climate change and environmental regulations, policy developments, and economic factors such as costs, fiscal conditions, and speculative financial activities.

Overall, the outlook and future of the worldwide oil industry depends largely upon governmental policies and developments within alternative energy sources, including renewables. Many countries worldwide are investing heavily in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, having ambitious targets not only to adhere to the Paris Agreement but in fact to take all necessary and possible actions to surpass the average targets of the Paris Agreement. The more efficiently countries are capable of switching over to alternative energy sources, the faster will the demand for petroleum products decreased. This allows for the oil and petroleum industry to continue developing cleaner technologies and investing in improved renewable energy technologies.

Learn more by watching Global Methane Initiative ́s video “Methane Mitigation Matters: Oil and Gas Sector”:

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys. For climate/environment-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank.

Subscribe to my newsletter at https://www.annemariayritys.com to receive my latest articles/posts. 

Note from author: I originally published this analysis on my website https://www.annemariayritys.com and on LinkedIn on December 6th, 2017, as part of my research about factors causing anthropogenic climate change and to find out more about the current state and the projections of the global energy sector. My conclusions based on the sources that I used were that despite heavy investments into the renewable sector in many countries worldwide, the need for oil as a source of energy still remains due to a number of reasons, including the fact that when world population continues to grow rapidly, the need for energy increases as well, although a vast part of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population still lives fully without electricity. The expansion of renewables and the usage of traditional energy sources currently go hand in hand. Government policies have a major impact on any country’s energy market. Anne-Maria Yritys, September 2nd, 2019.  

 

GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

Why Do We Urgently Need Sustainable Agriculture and Food Production?

According to both the FAO and the IPCC, global food production alone is responsible for a major proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. Not only are millions of hectares of forests being cut down annually in order to create space for more land to be cultivated, much of which is being wasted in many ways: crops are being grown to produce biofuels, or to feed cattle and other domesticated animals which ultimately end up on the human plate when those animals are being slaughtered.

 

Sustainable agriculture signifies that with a rapidly growing world population, we can no longer afford to waste essential natural resources. Moreover, poorly managed soils can take up to a century to recover and impoverished soils lead to impoverished nutritional values in any crop, or any food grown and produced.

 

What alternatives do we have?

 

  1. Using AI (Artificial Intelligence) to improve production methods in agriculture and farming.
  2. Radically reduce food waste, everywhere on this planet. Currently, much of crop/food is being thrown away.
  3. End (or at least reduce) animal farming drastically.
  4. Stop growing crops for the sake of, and stop wasting land, to produce biofuels.
  5. Transform the global agriculture and food sectors into increasingly much plant-based diets for human beings.
  6. Start valuing forests and trees as an essential source of food and nutrition not only for human beings, but also for animals.
  7. Innovate completely new food products, including food grown in laboratories ethically.

A-M. Yritys August 9, 2019

 

 

GCC Think Act Tank cover 2019

What if You Had Only One Minute?

If you had only 1 minute to take action to save the world from the environmental catastrophe that we are heading towards, what would your actions be? What would you be willing to give up on/sacrifice for the cause of saving flora & fauna, and perhaps even human beings?

 

  1. Would you support a sustainable economy based on putting the global ecology before greedy capitalism?

 

  1. Would you reduce or stop flying at all?

 

  1. Would you be willing to stop driving a car, and start using other means of transport (cycling, public transport)?

 

  1. Would you eat less meat? Become a vegetarian? Become a vegan?

 

  1. Would you consume more biological, organic, and fair trade products? And, consume more local and seasonal food products?

 

  1. Would you stop blaming governments, politicians and businesses for being responsible, and be willing to take personal responsibility for your consumption habits?

 

  1. Would you agree that the era of fossil fuels has to be replaced with renewable energy sources as soon as possible, and support renewables by choosing to consume renewable energy sources rather than fossil fuels?

 

What else would you be willing to do?

 

Feel free to comment.

 

Anne-Maria Yritys, August 1st 2019