Carbon Footprint UPSC
The quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere as an end result of the activities of a community, particular individual, or organization is called Carbon Footprint.
Coal production to greatly reduce carbon emissions.
Fuel/Resource: Coal; Conc. Solar Power; Geothermal Power; Hydroelectricity(run of river); Natural gas; Oil; Photovoltaics; Uranium Nuclear power ; Wind power
How to Measure Carbon Footprint?
Measuring carbon footprint
The Carbon Footprint of an individual, a nation or organization can be measured by assessing GHG emission or other calculative activities known as carbon accounting.
Factors influencing carbon footprints
The main influences on carbon footprints include economic output, population, and energy and carbon intensity of the economy. Coal production to greatly reduce carbon emissions.
GreenHouse Gas (GHG)
A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect.
The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon di oxide methane nitrous oxide, and ozone.
Global warming, also referred to as climate change, is the observed century-scale rise in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate system and its related effects. Multiple lines of scientific evidence show that the climate system is warming.
Methods to reduce carbon footprint
Once the amount of carbon footprint is measured, a strategy can be formulated to reduce it.
Some of the ways by which carbon footprint can be reduced are technological developments, better process and product management, carbon capture, changed Green Public or Private Procurement (GPP), consumption strategies, carbon offsetting and others.
To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse is the common way to reduce the carbon footprint of humans.
Carbon Offsetting UPSC
Carbon Offsetting is the counteracting of carbon dioxide emissions with an equivalent reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
E.g. Development of alternative projects, like solar and wind energy, which are environment friendly, renewable resources, or reforestation, the replacing of existing forests or woodlands that have previously been depleted.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) or Carbon Capture and Sequestration or Carbon Control and Sequestration is a natural or artificial method by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and detained in solid or liquid form.
Schemes to reduce carbon emissions
The Kyoto Protocol United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) outlines legitimately obligatory objectives and agendas to reduce the GHG emissions of industrialized countries that approved the Kyoto Protocol.
From an economic or market perspective, the countries are distinguished between a mandatory market and a voluntary market and trade with emission certificates like:
- Certified Emission Reduction (CER)
- Emission Reduction Unit (ERU)
- Verified Emission Reduction (VER)
Mandatory market mechanisms
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
Joint Implementation (JI)
Voluntary market mechanisms
Unlike the mandatory market which has strict rules set out to follow, the voluntary market provides companies with different options to acquire emissions reductions. They should trade with VER emission certificated.