Don’t you know that fossil fuels provide more than 85% of all energy people consume?
As countries develop, the energy demand brought by economic and population growth increases and the majority come from fossil fuels as they are easy to convert into energy.
The US Environment Protection Agency reported that 65% of greenhouse gases are generated by combustion of fossil fuel. Of which, 45% is from coal, 35% is from oil, and 20% is from natural gas.
Although it gives economic benefits, fossil fuels brings concern on environment as combustion of these fuels like crude oil and natural gas leads to global concerns such as acid rain and rising ozone levels, to name a few. However, economic growth brought by use of fossil fuel has lifted people out of poverty.
So, where do we draw the line?
The world particularly the developed countries has witnessed the emerging adverse effects on human health and environment catastrophe. Thus, the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 2oC is the center of talk in the COP21.
“There is no turning back” is what the French President François Hollande told the United Nations assembly during the signing of the agreement.
Approximately 200 countries that pledged commitment regarding the global environment concern have implemented policies on fossil fuel reduction and consumption especially to companies and businesses, some of which are regulation on carbon emissions, projects on low- to no-carbon energy, and promotion of energy efficiency in order to develop a more sustainable society and to reduce energy demand through conservation.
Policies have been made in every country in response to limit fossil fuel consumption and to control companies in terms of their use of fossil fuel.
A study by Covert et al in the Journal of Economics Perspective determined the possibility of total ban of fossil fuel. They found out that reliance of countries on fossil fuel still continues because of lack of substantial policies on greenhouse gases reduction. The group of researchers acknowledged that COP21 will dramatically improve regional and national climate change policies, leading to use of low-carbon energy sources and banning of fossil fuel use.
During the process of going “renewable”, each company especially those fossil fuel emitter should look for steps on how they can reduce energy demand and increase the contribution of renewable energy.
But, can the business sector quickly comply to the climate change mitigation goal?
Along with other energy giant companies, ExxonMobil media relations manager Alan Jeffers acknowledged the challenge and told that “[T]hey will take time, huge investments and thoughtful policies.”
Accelerating investment in cleaner technology and efficiency is one way out of this concern.
Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research Hans Joachim Schellnhuber said that a total slash of CO2 emission should be pursued by 2050 as this is the only key to reach the Paris Agreement target.
Thus, it is acknowledged that a drastic manner of reduction of greenhouse gases emission from companies along with enhanced international support is one solution the world is considering.