Figure 1. The Kaya identity
This equation, however simple it may seem, allows us to target what terms are directly proportional to CO2 emissions. One can observe the term GDP/POP (PIB/POP) which is simply economic growth per capita, therefore proving the direct correlation between CO2 emissions and growth.
Other factors are energy intensity (CO2/TEP) which literally represents the carbon content of 1 unit of energy produced, energy efficiency of the economy, or how much power one needs to produce 1 unit of currency, and the population.
With a population that could reach 10 billion by 2050 and a target global growth of 2-4% per year, one can easily grasp the technical challenges we must overcome to reduce our CO2 emissions to zero. In fact, if we maximised the energy efficiency of our industry and reached a 50% decrease in energy consumption to produce 1 unit of wealth, we would still need to divide the carbon intensity of our energy by 4 to reach the 2°C target set by the IPCC (60% of CO2 emissions reduction by 2050 compared to 2010 levels).
This goal can be achieved through massive investments in renewables and nuclear power, but it remains highly controversial because of the intermittency of these means of production in terms of security and environmental issues raised by nuclear energy.
Should we then review our current growth models and head towards a stand still (0% growth per year or even negative growth or degrowth), or even deliberately reduce our consumption of goods and energy?
Greenfish wanted to evaluate their own impact on global warming and how they could reduce their emissions. The aim of the last presentation by Matthieu Beaudet was to present the results of a 3-month investigation of Greenfish employees, their habits in terms of transportation, electricity usage or meals, the usage of computers and electronics inside the company, and the consumption of electricity and heat.
Thus, a Carbon Footprint report was made to evaluate these impacts and present a clear roadmap to reduce our CO2 emissions. Consultants participated in finding the appropriate solutions to improve our overall situation and the discussions were numerous!
- Technical and STEM (science, tech, engineering and mathematics) education should be actively pushed