For starters, technology played a crucial role in the Second Industrial Revolution in the 1800s. Dubbed as the Technology Revolution, its advancements, later on, trickled down to households and everyday life changed forever. The discovery of fossil fuels, in particular, powered businesses and homes, enriching the countries that used them. Unfortunately, it has also contributed to climate change.
It took the world more than a century to realize the negative effects of rapid industrialization and the use of fossil fuels. Today, governments, non-government organizations (NGOs), and private institutions scramble to develop solutions that will tackle climate change. They have made affordable solutions now available such as hydro, wind, and solar powers. The mass deployment of market-ready solutions aims to foster a carbon-neutral environment in the future.
And, there are emerging technologies. Some of them will be discussed in today’s article.
Renewable Energy on Mars — Government Effort
No, it’s not science fiction. For years, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has continuously developed innovations that can help minimize the effect of climate change. Most of their efforts focus on studying Earth and improving the efficiency of aircraft.
To date, they have built solutions for an all-electric flight, sniffing out gas leaks, cryogenic rocket-inspired insulation, and trapping greenhouse gases. However, their work on Mars has sparked the idea to take advantage of the Red Planet’s atmosphere and temperature and use it for renewable energy based on wind gusts. They were planning to use this idea to create technologies that can power operations on Mars in the future.
Scientists have discovered that Mars has no fossil fuels. This shifted their view to what was obvious — wind. They started to develop wind turbines that could operate in extremely harsh environments. While they have yet to install such turbines on Mars, 800 of these technologies are now deployed in various places around the globe.
Centralized Computing — Efforts from Private Institutions
It’s crucial to apply practices to one’s daily life to help minimize the effects of climate change. You can unplug appliances or turn off lights when not in use, use reusable shopping bags and cutlery, drive an electric car, ride a bike to work, and more. But these are all not enough.
Entrepreneurs and companies should help shift the economy to choose more sustainable practices and goals. Most companies rely on computers for their daily operations. This has a significant contribution to global carbon emissions. Companies should adopt efficient systems to minimize this effect.
Computer use in the workplace has considerably increased electricity consumption. Applications on local machines are energy-intensive. With a well-managed IT infrastructure, however, energy efficiency is achieved because computing is centralized. And with the use of an energy-efficient system, there is less consumption resulting in fewer emissions.
Carbon Management — Efforts from NGOs and Governments
According to the World Economic Forum (WeForum), carbon (CO2) reporting and management play a major role in reducing emissions. They categorized it into three processes: capture, abatement, and offsetting. However, WeForum emphasized that the top carbon emission-producing countries are the ones that should extensively participate in these processes.
Carbon capture involves measuring carbon footprint and organizing it into a report. Measurements should be based on globally recognized standards for carbon accounting, GHG (Greenhouse Gas) protocol, or ISO (International Standardization Organization) 14064-1. The process includes collecting CO2 data, which are sorted out based on emission type and geographical source.
On the other hand, abatement means identifying the main sources of emissions and creating measures to reduce them. An abatement plan uses roadmaps and KPIs (key performance indicators) to help organizations shift from emission-heavy processes to technology-based, energy-efficient solutions.
On the other hand, carbon offsetting involves measures that make organizations accountable for the carbon emissions they produce. It includes environmental projects, carbon taxes, and technological solutions to measure and verify carbon credits.
We Forum reiterated the importance of AIoT (artificial Internet of Things) and AI (artificial intelligence) to help plan and manage all categories. Both technologies can enable seamless asset inventory and collection of CO2 activity in real-time. This can help governments and organizations to create accurate monitoring and measurements, improve data quality, and enhance report resolution while reducing issues with data collection.
The Need for Technological Change
Individual measures from NGOs, private companies, and governments and their collective action can help make all these efforts successful. But with the use of technology, their participation and solutions have a greater impact.
However, it may take years or decades for these solutions to truly have an effect. There is a challenge in commitment and accelerating everybody’s efforts. Hopefully, the IT sector can also help in these areas.