Environment & Climate

How are politicians & industrialists seeking to tackle decarbonization?

By May 7, 2019 No Comments

Climate change, climate action, climate crisis! The media machines are churning out facts & figures about the increasing damage to our climate & our biodiversity.

It is all to easy to absorb the emotionally charged vision reported by some, but at the core, climate scientists have been researching & advising for decades on the impact of our post industrialised world, but little has seemingly been done until now.

The IPCC report last year seems to have been the catalyst for the worlds governments & industrialists to rapidly begin plans to put deadlines in place for net zero emissions, carbon capture & reduction & in some cases, lists & guidelines have been drawn up to advise people on how their personal actions can help in the face of advancing post industrialised climate change.

Therefore, with the evidence being glaringly obvious, how can the scientific communities encourage, support & influence governmental groups & industry to make the dramatic changes needed to reverse the advancing destabilisation of planet Earths eco system?

In a recent speech to the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Claire Perry, The Minister of State for Energy & Clean Growth, made an oral statement about how the UK has been combating the advances of climate change & how a low carbon economy is being encouraged.

Since 1990, we have cut our emissions in the UK by 42% while growing the economy by 72%. We are independently assessed as leading the G20 in decarbonization since 2000.

People talk a lot about the disparity between territorial emissions and consumption emissions and I would invite Members to consider the latest data that shows our greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis fell by 21% between 2007 and 2016. They fell 6% year on year in the year to 2016.

Across the UK, almost 400,000 people are working in low carbon jobs and their supply chains. A sector that is bigger than aerospace and is growing at a factor of two or three times the mainstream economy.” (1)

Carbon capture is seen as one of the most scientifically proven ways of reducing our Co2 emissions. However, European parliamentary camps seem to split over it’s effectiveness & an over reliance on one form of scientifically proven carbon removal technology.

‘European Parliamentary committees have been speaking out about the climate plan published in November 2018. However, lawmakers are divided into two camps on a crucial issue, the use of technology like carbon capture and storage (CCS): one which favours its use and one which is adamant that planning for 2050 should not “overly rely” on it.

The Commission plan offers up several scenarios for 2050, from which member states will have to choose. The most ambitious scenarios, which aim for nearly 100% emission cuts by mid-century, rely heavily on carbon removal.

An expert with the European Environmental Bureau agreed that “the path to net zero emissions by 2040 must not be dependent on unproven negative emissions technology”, citing forests and carbon sequestration as “natural and effective” options.’ (2)

As decarbonization seems to be one of the thus far proven ways of removing damaging Co2 from our atmosphere & with the technologies being rolled out to perform such a roll; this still doesn’t address how industry in particular is being challenged to change it’s proven formats & decarbonize at source & from within, rather than posing solutions to the problems of the carbon already in our atmosphere.

Nicola Peill-Moelter Director of Sustainability Innovation VMware, speaks candidly about the need to decarbonize industry from the inside out, in her essay titled ‘Corporations Could Be the Best Weapon in Combating Climate Change’

“While at Caltech, I first came across the Rocky Mountain Institute, an energy and sustainability think tank. It had a unique thesis that was compelling to me: The path to wider and accelerated environmental change, it hypothesized, was finding the intersection of profit and sustainability — where solving our most pressing environmental problems also makes business sense.”

“There’s no business case for the concept of sustainability. But when sustainability goals align with business values and objectives, it can boost both environmental progress and the bottom line.”

“And if companies themselves don’t see and seize the opportunity, investors are taking note of companies’ risk exposures to the impacts of climate change. The increasing frequency and intensity of storms, floods and fires are damaging infrastructure and disrupting supply chains. Longer and more severe droughts, shrinking aquifers and degraded soils threaten all of agribusiness.”

“As the world weans itself off fossil fuels, transitioning to renewable energy and electric vehicles, oil and gas industries are in danger. Investors want to see that companies are aware of and resilient in the face of these risks and will look to invest in those that are.”

“Don’t get me wrong. We have a daunting challenge in front of us, and it will take everyone — corporations, governments and individuals — to make real progress. So, I like to share my learnings with local communities. And while I’m practical about the challenges we face with climate change, I don’t focus on the scary consequences, which understandably cause people to feel hopeless and tune out. I paint a vision of an amazing future that they can help create by taking action.” Nicola Peill-Moelter Director of Sustainability Innovation VMware (3)

With this message resounding loud & clear, the scientific communities are finally being heard & the need for decarbonization, reducing global emissions is slowly but surely being taken up & acted upon by global corporations, governments & industry alike.

Corporate giants such as Siemens, the largest global manufacturers, have vowed to be 100% carbon neutral by 2030 & Nestle, having been criticised for its use of palm oil in products, ‘has committed to using 100% responsibly sourced palm oil by 2020, and to blacklist companies that do not comply with its policies. It will use satellite technology to ensure no deforestation is taking place in its supply chain.’ (4)

Advancing climate change is happening all around us. Technology which has, since the industrialisation of our planet, driven us forward, with little or no understanding of the impact this could have on planet Earth; is now being looked towards, to help find solutions for the ‘climate crisis’ we have all recognised.

Written by Katy-Jane Mason on behalf of Dolphin N2


  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/climate-change-protests?utm_source=43a16be9-781c-4aa8-9b3d-9268b64e555b&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate
  2. https://www.euractiv.com/section/climate-strategy-2050/news/carbon-capture-feasibility-splits-meps-in-2050-planning/
  3. https://www.techer.caltech.edu/corporations-and-climate-change
  4.  https://edition.cnn.com/2018/10/09/business/climate-change-companies/index.html