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Can Green Industrialization Help to Fight Climate Change?


Greenhouse gases are produced when fossil fuels are burnt to produce energy or chemical reactions when producing goods from raw materials. The gases act as glass that traps heat in the earth’s atmosphere leading cause of global warming. Unfortunately, global warming has caught up with us, and we have started experiencing extreme climatic changes such as floods, drought, rise in sea levels, and wildfires. In 2021, some countries such as Germany have experienced floods, and Greece, Sicily and Turkey are witnessing raging wildfires due to rising temperatures during the summer season.

So, it is our duty as earth-loving inhabitants to do whatever we can to protect mother nature. For example, we can reduce our carbon footprint by switching to electric cars rather than petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles, nurture a recycling habit and save energy when we can. If you are an online gaming fan, you could also switch to an online platform such as Vulkan Casino instead of going to a land-based facility.  That way, you can reduce car trips and other associated carbon emissions. On top of personal environment-saving initiatives, green industrialization is increasingly becoming a subject of discussion as one of the effective ways to address climate change.

What is Green Industrialization?

The Paris Agreement effected in November 2016 focuses on keeping global warming between 1.5 to 2 °C. The agreement outlines how and by how much a particular country should reduce emissions through means such as green industrialization. Essentially, green industrialization aims to promote economic growth and development while avoiding environmental degradation.  So, how does it work? Read on to discover how green industrialization can be used to help fight climate change.

Use of Raw Materials More Efficiently

We measure material efficiency by the number of goods or services produced per unit of raw materials used. It entails optimizing production systems to use less raw materials such as fossil fuels, wood, plastics, and non-metallic minerals and ensuring that you still produce the same level of high products. Industries can provide a sustainable material management system by incorporating the 3R concept (reduce, reuse and recycle) while guaranteeing that product functionality is delivered. For example:

  • Instead of disposing of off products, they can be redesigned, remanufactured, or refurbished, therefore using less energy and raw materials;
  • Extending the lifespan of a product during manufacturing;
  • Incorporating the circular economy where products are maintained in the economy for as long as possible.

Reduce Pollutant Emissions and Manage Waste Disposal

Some greenhouse emissions can directly be traced to solid waste. The life cycle of a product, whether during manufacturing or recycling, produces emissions, and reducing the amount of waste generated reduces global warming and saves energy. FYI, methane is the most prominent greenhouse gas produced from waste.

In a study focused on the best ways to reduce pollutant emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that waste prevention was the best course of action followed by recycling. So, before resorting to incineration and landfilling, industries should properly manage their waste within and outside the company to better protect the environment.

Gradual Phasing Out of Toxic Chemicals

Apart from global warming gases such as CO2 or methane, there are other toxic chemicals that deplete the ozone layer, causing climate change. Production or use of agents in the construction industries such as fluorinated blowing agents or carbon tetrachloride used in making household cleaning products have a high global warming potential.

With increased temperatures, some chemicals break down into toxic byproducts and enter into our environment or even produce smog, reducing the quality of life. We may not remove all chemicals because they play an essential role in our lives, but we can take preventive measures. For example, companies such as Grove Collaborative and ECOS sell natural and eco-friendly cleaning products stored in reusable packages. Some countries have also phased out plastic bags, which is a step closer to remediation, but there’s still much work to be done.

Use of Renewable Energy Sources

Environmental organizations globally are pushing for the reduction of our global carbon footprint by 2 tons per year by 2050 to avoid the 2°C rises in temperatures brought by global warming. To achieve that, we need to cut out carbon-intensive energy sources such as coal and natural gas and replace them with renewable energy sources. As a result, industries are being encouraged to use greener energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal that emit little or no greenhouse gases.

For example, in the US, a UCS analysis conducted in 2009 determined that using the Renewable Electricity Standard will reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions by 277 million metric tons per year by 2025. In addition, a study undertaken by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that renewable energy could provide 80% electricity in the US by 2050 and would reduce electricity sector greenhouse emissions by 81%.

Fight Climate Change from All Fronts

Besides fighting climate change at an industry level, we should promote climate change awareness within all organizational structures. For example, people should be encouraged to use reusable utensils and reusing papers to ensure the office space is eco-friendly. Such initiatives roll then reduce the cutting down of trees, which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is now everyone’s responsibility to fight against climate change!