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.

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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.  

 

Who is Responsible for The Global Climate Crisis?

What Do We Know About Global CO2 Emissions?

According to the IEA (International Energy Agency) CO2 Emissions Statistics, in 2016 TRANSPORT accounted for 1/4 of total global emissions, 71% higher in comparison with the statistics from 1990. Road transport accounted for the vast majority of the increase. Furthermore, total global CO2 emissions have more than doubled since the 1970 ́s and grown by approximately 40% since the year 2000. In 2017 alone, worldwide CO2 emissions rose by 1,5%, led by China, India, and the EU.

What conclusions can we draw from this?

  1. Increase energy efficiency and increase the usage of renewable energy sources to reduce total emissions.
  2. Reduce emission-heavy transportation.
  3. Travel less, or travel smarter.
  4. Consume more local products.
  5. Invest into close production and local businesses.
  6. Stop supporting unsustainable businesses that only care about making as much profit as possible with the lowest cost possible i.e. businesses that outsource production to low-cost markets and that try to pay as little taxes as possible (or, that outsource the business to tax havens around the world).

Anne-Maria Yritys

 

Who is Responsible for The Global Climate Crisis?

Who is Responsible for The Global Climate Crisis?

With millions of people around the world marching and striking on behalf of the environment and citizens worldwide demanding increased and more rapid action and political decisions in terms of fighting back against anthropogenic climate change, it is without question a reality of today that people call governments and politicians for taking faster actions to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement. Never before has climate change, the environment, the climate crisis or for instance pollution and greenhouse gases been covered so intensely by various media outlets globally. It is obvious that climate change and the global environmental crisis are among the most discussed topics today.

Who is responsible for the global climate crisis? 

What almost appears as a global panic attack in terms of anxiety caused by the state of the global environment and the human-caused climate disaster, demonstrators across the world aim to put pressure on governments and politicians with a democratic justification to do so.

Don’t be afraid to stand for what you believe in, even if it means standing alone

Instead of blame-shifting and pointing fingers on who is the biggest criminal in terms of environmental destruction and human-caused climate change, we should better start recognizing the root causes that have placed humanity in the position that we are in today, followed by determined and smart actions throughout societies. This is already clear to the world: we know the root problems, and largely what to do about the problem. Around the world, businesses are already taking serious action to combat anthropogenic climate change. Citizens are taking action. Cities are taking action. Governments are taking action. Countries are OBLIGED to take action (see e.g. Paris Agreement).

A few facts concerning human-caused climate change (through emitting greenhouse gases):

  • The global energy sector alone is responsible for 80 % of emissions which is the main reason for the need to transition from fossil fuels to non-nuclear renewables
  • Cities worldwide are responsible for 70 % of all emissions which is why cities worldwide have no other option than to take action if they want to become carbon-neutral
  • Agriculture is both affected by and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Up to more than 30 % of ALL greenhouse gas emissions are caused either directly or indirectly by agriculture and farming practices.
  • Every human being on this planet contributes to man-made climate change and environmental destruction. Some less, others significantly much more. One major factor that has to be realized is that each and one of us has influence on how much of a burden we are to the environment. As consumers, we can vote through our consuming habits: demand better quality and consider what and how we consume.

Contact me directly for consultations. Anne-Maria Yritys, June 3rd 2019. All rights reserved.

 

Natural Gas as a Source of Methane Emissions Worldwide

chart (1)

With the United States of America currently leading the production of natural gas hydrocarbons, followed by Russia, Iran, Qatar, Canada, China, The European Union, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan, natural gas along with the oil/petroleum industry account for 20% of total methane emissions worldwide. In its World Oil Outlook 2040, OPEC estimates that the largest upcoming energy demand will come from natural gas, with an average annual growth of 0.4 % from 2015 to 2040. (Global Methane Initiative 2010; Central Intelligence Agency 2017; U.S. Energy Information Administration 2017; OPEC 2017).

Following table chart illustrates OPEC´s forecast for the world primary energy demand by fuel type from 2015 to 2040. According to OPEC´s estimations, the demand for gas will increase by a rate of 1.8% p.a. during this time period, with the majority of demand coming from non-OECD countries and the most rapid economic growth in the developing world. OPEC projects the global economy in 2040 being 226% in comparison to 2016, with 3/4 of growth coming from developing countries. China and India are forecast to account for almost 40% of the global GDP in 2040. (OPEC 2017. World Oil Outlook 2040).

 

Untitled presentation

The OPEC acknowledges the relation between population growth and energy demand, however, considering a number of variables for instance in consumer trends. It also states how energy markets are affected by government policies and recognizes the need to monitor these on a regular basis, taking into consideration for instance the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, with energy efficiency and clean energy now trending development. The OPEC is closely monitoring worldwide energy market and policy developments, mentioning the USA, the European Union, China, and India at the forefront.

OPEC estimates that total world primary energy demand by fuel type from 2015 to 2040 will see an increase of 3.6% for gas, 1,5% for nuclear energy, 0.3% for hydro energy, and 4% for other renewables, while the demand for oil would decrease by 4.2%, coal demand decreasing by 5.1%, and biomass demand decreasing by 0.1% during the time frame. The OPEC identifies energy efficiency as a critical uncertainty for the energy market with policies concentrating on reducing emissions through a number of measures related to financial and fiscal instruments. (OPEC 2017. World Oil Outlook 2040).

The U.S. Energy Information Administration presents natural gas as a proportionately clean burning fossil fuel, although exploration, drilling and production have direct impacts on the environment, in addition to the fact that natural gas consists mainly of methane which is a powerful greenhouse gas. Leaks from natural gas-related activities such as pipelines are causing toxic anthropogenic methane emissions. (eia 2017). Despite of the many environmental and health risks related to fossil fuels such as natural gas, the global energy market will continue to depend on these. The OPEC projects that oil and gas combined will supply for more than 50% of global energy needs between 2015-2040. Gas alone is estimated to have a share of 29% in OECD, 20.8% in developing countries, and 45.4% in Eurasia in 2040. In China, gas is forecast to account for 10.6% of energy demand in 2040, while coal is expected to drop down to 48.6% from 64.3% in 2015. (OPEC 2017).

The OPEC estimates that the highest growth in gas demand in the OECD region will be in OECD America, recognizing key influences related to the overall demand of natural gas and its dependency on multiple critical factors including gas supplies, competition,  regulations, and pricing.

For instance in Finland, the national Energy Authority reports that “The Finnish natural gas market has been under sector-specific regulatory supervision since the assertion of the Natural Gas Market Act in August 2000”. The natural gas market in Finland has currently no competition, with 100% of the natural gas is being imported through one pipeline from Russia and traded on the Finnish market by one single company. In Finland, the demand for natural gas has been in decline for several reasons, with natural gas accounting for some eight (8%) of total generation fuel mix in 2014, with the baseline for energy demand being market-based. (energy authority Ref: 1842/601/2015/; Finnish Energy 2017).

 

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Agricultural Manure and Global Methane Emissions

chart (1)

While enteric fermentation alone accounts for around a third of all anthropogenic methane emissions worldwide, agricultural manure accounts for another four per cent (4%), according to statistics published by GMI, the Global Methane Initiative, in 2010. In one of my previous posts, Enteric Fermentation Largest Single Source of Global Methane Emissions, I have discussed enteric fermentation and its role in global methane emissions. Unless familiar with greenhouse gas emissions and anthropogenic climate change, one may be surprised at the fact that animal farming is the major cause for human-caused methane emissions worldwide.

Will this be the beginning of the end of animal farming? In order to gain a broader view upon agriculture and animal farming, it may be beneficial to learn about and to understand the beginning and the history of both agriculture and animal farming, along with how these have developed in the past thousands and hundreds of years, up to the past century, the past decades, current developments and future trends. Although animal farming, the domestication and breeding of animals, and agriculture have been present for centuries already, there are differences between cultures, geographies and techniques. Agricultural science, according to for instance National Geography Society, has taken rapid leaps in productivity in the past decades because new sources of energy and power.

Today, in a world where much of animal farming has been industrialized, the ethics of animal farming is being questioned by a growing amount of people. While many animal farmers are struggling in order to make their business lucrative, or even to make ends meet, millions of people worldwide are against animal farming, finding animal farming the worst crime in history as stated in The Guardian´s article from September 25th, 2015: Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history.

While having no trouble buying meat products in supermarkets, many people today are in fact completely completely estranged with the reality of animal farming. If people were to see what actually takes place on many animal farms, their perceptions would perhaps change, or at least be impacted. For instance in Finland, currently almost half of human excrement today ends up as fertilizers in the agricultural sector, something that is strongly opposed by the food industry. There are of course restrictions both in Finland and in the European Union for the amounts of organic matters that may be legally used as fertilizers for growing crops. Nevertheless, the food industry is worried that traces of drugs, medicines, and even plastics may end up as fertilizers. Now imagine that animals are being fed with crops grown on lands where human excrement is being used as a fertilizer. Ultimately, this is a cycle where we end up consuming and eating everything that we so to say put out there. The more toxins at hand in our atmosphere, the more toxins in our soils, and in our bodies.

Methane emissions from enteric fermentation are significant, and these have an impact on our environment, our climate, and on ourselves. Although it is impossible to stop animal farming, there are ways of improving and affecting the amount of methane emissions being released through animal farming and enteric fermentation. Many consumers today also choose to leave away animal products from their lives (vegans). Others choose to buy organically produced animal products. We can all make an impact: as consumers, as farmers, and as policy-makers. There is not one single stakeholder in the supply chain that could not influence the future of animal farming, and the agricultural industry.

Learn more by watching Fertcare´s video “Managing nitrious oxide emissions from soil & fertilizer”:

 

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Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020

What Are Stationary and Mobile Methane Sources?

Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020
Estimated Global Methane Emissions 2020

Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas which today accounts for at least a quarter of all anthropogenic climate change, has many different sources. The largest human-caused methane source is enteric fermentation, the digestive process in the animal farming industry, followed by oil and gas production, landfills, rice cultivation, wastewater, other agricultural sources, coal mining, agricultural manure, biomass, and stationary and mobile sources of anthropogenic methane emissions.

Stationary and mobile sources of methane being released into Earth’s atmosphere through human activity refers to combustion practices, with these accounting for an estimated one percent of other than natural methane activity on Earth. It is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and organic matter in order to transform these into energy and heat.

According to the GMI (Global Methane Initiative), which is part of the United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA, there will be a 15% increase of human-caused methane emissions by 2020. Moreover, according to EPA/GMI, methane mitigation (projects) include many benefits for the overall (global) environment, not only in terms of reducing excess odors, but also in terms of minimizing anthropogenic methane emissions which are at a large scale responsible for the greenhouse effect and climate change on Earth since industrialization.

 

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Methane Emissions From Biomass Production

chart (1)

Although biomass is currently being classified as a renewable energy source, it accounts for some  3% (three per cent) of total global methane emissions (with methane being a powerful greenhouse gas and anthropogenic methane emissions being known for causing Earth´s climate to warm). According to Vattenfall, one of the largest European retailers for electricty and fully owned (100%) by the Swedish state, biomass is at this time the largest single renewable energy source in the European Union.

Biomass and waste currently account for 2/3 (two-thirds) of renewable energy production worldwide, stated by Vattenfall. The state of Sweden has learned how to utilize waste to such an extent that it today is obliged to IMPORT waste in order to keep up with its (biomass) energy production. What a genius idea to turn waste into energy! Of course, the most optimal solution would be not to create any waste at all, but at the current state of the world, many countries are facing problems with for instance recycling, not to mention how these countries manage waste. Why destroy the environment and our soils by dumping all kinds of waste to landfills without any recycling, when there are much better options, such as biomass production and recycling available?

These are not only questions of environmental or human well-being, but also important issues concerning recycling, waste management, human health, animal health, planetary health, and the creation of sustainable business models and lucrative income for societies around the globe. Of course, biomass can not be created from any kind of waste. Today, biomass is being created and used mainly in countries focused on forest industries, and agriculture, whereby waste from these can be utilized to produce biomass energy from (renewable) sources.

Although biomass is today regarded to be a renewable energy source, and definitely more environmentally friendly than for instance coal, gas and oil production, the production of biomass involves both agriculture and forestry. If other renewable source of energy are at hand, there should be no need to excessively cut down forests or grow crops in order to produce biomass, if and when there are more environmentally friendly options available.

It is estimated that the demand for biomass will at least double in the upcoming decades, with scenarios up to 2050. According to the World Energy Council´s report World Energy Resources – Bioenergy | 2016, bioenergy currently accounts for 10% of total global energy supply, with biofuels being a sustainable option in the replacement of oil dependency. Moreover, with growing concerns for environmental well-being even in terms of biomass production, bioenergy is framed by sustainability standards such as ISO, only to mention one of many. The World Energy Council states that the use of waste and residues as raw material to produce bioenergy is most optimal.

Following video, “What is Biomass”, published by FairEnergy, briefly explains what biomass (production) is:

 

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Enteric Fermentation Largest Single Source of Global Methane Emissions

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Why is the amount of people worldwide who decide to go either vegetarian or vegan constantly growing? In the United States alone, the number of vegans has grown by 500% in a few years time only. The reasons for vegetarianism and veganism are many: some people simply do not like the taste of meat, others may suffer from a fish intolerance or allergy. A lot of people do not want to harm animals, and find it cruel to grow animals just in order to slaughter them and consume them. Among the many vegans I have personally met, one of the main reasons for their decision to cut out any animal products, including eggs and dairy, from their diets, is since they have found it improve their health and well-being.

Despite of the many dietary suggestions given to us by a number of experts, every individual who can afford buying and choosing their diet in the first place should be his or her own best expert. Unfortunately this is also not true most of the time since more and more people on our planet suffer from excess weight due to unhealthy consumption habits, while on the other side of the coin, millions of people go hungry and are malnourished due to lack of access to many-sided, nutrient-rich food. For those who can afford consuming meat products, dietitians usually state that (red) meat products contain all the necessary amino acids which are key ingredients of protein and our bodies capacity to build and maintain muscle tissue, while vegans especially have to make an extra effort to access all the necessary amino acids that are essential building stones of the protein our bodies need. Otherwise, human beings actually have no real need to consume meat or seafood. Even vegans can choose plant-based products with all the necessary amino acids (and, proteins). It is also a fact that consuming proteins in excess will lead to these being stored as fat (lipids) in our bodies. Thus, a balanced and healthy diet is always key to our overall well-being.

A major reason to choose veganism (or, vegetarianism) today is climate-related. Enteric fermentation, the digestive process of livestock, is the largest single emitter of anthropogenic methane emissions on a global scale. Around one-third of all human-caused methane emissions worldwide stems from enteric fermentation, predominantly from cattle. Every time we choose to consume meat, we contribute to an increase in global greenhouse emissions (methane). It is also questionable how much sense it makes to grow crops in order to feed animals that human beings will slaughter and consume, contributing at least twice as much to an increase in global greenhouse gas emissions.

The FAO (Food And Agriculture Organization of The United Nations) published “Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock – A Global Assessment Of Emissions And Mitigation Opportunities” in 2013. Access the PDF version of the publication here. The report is a compact global assessment of GHG emissions stemming from livestock supply chains with a discussion about research methodology, and dividing the study into clear chapters and themes such as overall emissions, main sources of emissions, emissions by geographical region, emissions by species, mitigation (potential and practice) with case studies, concluding the report with a chapter on suggestions for policy-making.

Most of us can afford to make individual/personal choices of consumption, influencing decision-makers to create better and more sustainable policies. In a world faced with many problems such as hunger and malnutrition, climate change, and an increasing amount of population battling problems with overweight, individual choices are not always enough. According to FAO`s “Tackling Climate Change Through Livestock – A Global Assessment Of Emissions And Mitigation Opportunities”, it is possible to reduce emissions stemming from all species in all regions, but there is an urgent need for better policies. FAO states that tackling difficult problems can be made possible with the right policies, innovations and investments. It has to be understood that through the necessary measures taken, we are better equipped to deal with large-scale problems such as climate change and a rapidly growing world population. The report concludes that additional research and development is necessary, improving the measurement of emissions, and support from global initiatives focusing on livestock especially due to its complexity and size.

Learn more by watching FAO´s video “Climate change mitigation in the livestock sector: overall potential, options and case studies”:

 

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How Does Rice Cultivation Contribute to Global Methane Emissions?

chart (1)

This article is a continuation to my earlier articles upon climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and the influence of methane in Earth´s atmosphere. Access some of my previous articles here:

Climate Forcing Methane

Methane Release Poses Climate Risks

Climate Amplifier Methane

Methane is an Environmental Wildcard

In brief, methane is a greenhouse gas at least 22 times as powerful as carbon dioxide. It can be found naturally in Earth´s environment: for instance, permafrost in the Arctic region is a significant “storage room” for methane. Due to its powerful qualities as an energy source, methane is a key ingredient in the fossil fuel energy sector, i.e. oil and gas industries. What may be surprising to many is that one of the main emitters of climate amplifier methane is the agriculture and farming sector. In this article, we will take a closer look at rice cultivation, which alone accounts for around 10% (per cent) of all methane emissions worldwide.

According to the Rice Association, rice is being cultivated in more than one hundred (100) countries worldwide, with Antarctica being the only continent with no rice cultivation. With majority of all rice being consumed where cultivated, rice is the main source of food for half of world population. Today, world population is almost 7,6 billion. Hence, at least 3,8 billion people worldwide currently depend on rice as their main source of food. See the nutritional value here: Fineli – Rice, Boiled Without Salt.

With the many varieties of rice being cultivated in different countries, only a handful of these are being marketed. In Finland, for instance, a consumer can find basmati rice, jasmine rice, full corn rice, dark rice, white rice, various kinds of risotto rice under different labels/producers, porridge rice, and a number of other rice products such as rice cakes. Despite of being a widely cultivated crop/grain, at least 90% of all rice grows on the Asian continent.

Some of the major concerns of rice cultivation is the fact that it consumes more than 33% (one third) of all irrigation water worldwide. (KULUTTAJA – Velaksi viljelty basmatiriisi). One grain, one food product, which wastes more water than any other agricultural product. In times of water scarcity, and hundreds of millions of people worldwide with no access to clean water, this is a waste of energy and a waste of our most valuable natural resource: fresh water. If you have ever seen a rice field in nature, or e.g. on TV, you are aware of how a rice field looks like: covered with water, a rice field is not only a huge absorbent of fresh irrigation water, but also an optimal environment for methane to thrive. The production of one single kilo rice consumes up to 5.000 liters of water.

IRRI, the International Rice Research Institute, states on its website that the amount of rice lands globally is around 150.000.000 (150 million) hectares, half of which are under continuous irrigation. Furthermore, according to IRRI,within less than a decade at least 10-15% of irrigated rice fields will suffer from water scarcity. IRRI has been working for decades in improving methods and technologies in rice cultivation, through science and research. Despite of its high methane emissions and the amount of water needed for cultivation, IRRI estimates that our world needs up to 10.000.000 tons more rice each year to ensure food security for world population. Moreover, vast areas of rice-cultivating lands face risks due to climate change, such as destructive floods. Rice alone is not a sufficient source of nutrition: a large amount of rice eaters suffer from malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency. (IRRI Brochure).

Learn more by watching “Climate-friendly rice farming in the Philippines | Global Ideas” by DW English:

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Climate Change Impacts Are Many And Complex (in the Arctic)

Arctic (44).jpg

With a rather quickly changing climate in the Arctic region, whereby the region´s climate has warmed more rapidly than anywhere else on Earth in the past three decades, can anyone keep pace with what is taking place? According to many scientists, researchers and universities, we have now less than a decade to bring down global temperatures to a safe level. If not, we could be heading towards a climate disaster, affecting all life on our planet.

Many climate change skeptics refuse to believe what is happening. Cynics state that it is too late to do anything, that we are already headed towards an unstoppable disaster. Various, quite recent, forecasts are already becoming factual, with extreme weather events becoming stronger and more frequent, sea levels rising, extreme droughts in some areas around our world while others have increasingly much rainfall and floods. Climate change is real, and most of the past century´s climate change is anthropogenic. This has been realized by majority of world population, most of whom take action in completely new, creative ways to prevent further human damage to our climate and environment.

Completely new innovations are making way for a sustainable future, in all sectors. With the energy sector being the most important in terms of combating anthropogenic climate change, the energy sector is now being transformed into renewable sources of energy. Renewable sources of energy are defined as fossil-free energy sources, excluding the usage of coal, gas and oil.

It is highly questionable whether for instance hydropower and nuclear power can be defined as environmentally friendly, or sustainable. For now, most of the world seems yet to depend upon both of these energy sources. What the energy market will be in twenty years from now is completely up to ourselves, our efforts as societies, governments and legislative actions around the world. Many countries are heading towards 100 % renewable energy from non-nuclear sources, such as wind and solar energy.

Agricultural and farming practices are the second largest emitter of climate changing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. The food and agriculture sector has no other option than to transform, either through force of nature or by starting to implement sustainable changes into the industry before it is no longer a choice, but a necessity. Many people have since long made an individual choice of becoming vegan, which means voluntarily giving up the consumption of any animal products (dairy products, eggs, meat). Others decrease their consumption of meat without going completely vegetarian.

According to The Vegan Society, veganism is protected as a human right. In Britain alone, as estimated by The Vegan Society, the amount of vegans in 2016 rose up to more than half a million of total British population. Rise of The Vegan, on the other hand, reports that veganism has grown with 500 % in the United States since 2014, with six per cent of United States citizens now being vegan. BBC Future has reported that if the whole world population would eliminate red meat from their diets, food industry-related greenhouse gas emissions would decline with 60 %. If our whole world population went vegan, the amount of emissions would drop by 70 %. These are huge numbers, especially when many people around the world are unaware of how much the agriculture and food sectors contribute to releases in greenhouse gas emissions. While for now no one can be forced to become either vegetarian or vegan, we can all decide to decrease the amount of meat we consume by incorporating vegetarian/vegan days into our personal lives on a regular basis.

Learn more by watching “The Hidden Impacts of Climate Change”, published by VICE News on December 2nd, 2015:

 

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