The earths average surface temperature has risen by 2 degrees since the pre-industrial era (1880-1900)
- Earth’s climate has warmed significantly since the late 1800s
- Human activities (primarily greenhouse gas emissions) are the primary cause.
- Continuing emissions will increase the likelihood and severity of global effects.
- “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.”
- Human influence on the climate system is clear.It is extremely likely (95–100% probability)that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming between 1951 and 2010.
The average rate of increase has doubled since 1981 Average rate of temperature increase has been 0.18°C per year
If the world temperature rises by another two degrees, catastrophic and irreversible damage will be done to the planet
- Mountain glaciers and rivers will start to disappear and mountainous regions will see more landslides.
- By 2100, sea levels could rise by a meter, displacing 10% of the world’s population. Countries such as the Maldives will be submerged and the Indian subcontinent will be left fighting for survival.
- The ecosystem will collapse and a third of all life on earth will face extinction. Plant growth will slow, then stop. Plants don’t absorb carbon dioxide very well so begin to emit it – making global warming worse.
- The world’s food centres will become barren and, within 85 years, one third of the planet will be without fresh water.
- If the world’s temperature rises by two to three degrees, up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest will be destroyed and warmer soil will kill vegetation and release more carbon.
- Hurricanes will be stronger and cities in Asia, Australia and the south-east of the US will face destruction. Holland will be torn apart by the North Sea.
- Saltwater will creep upstream, poisoning the groundwater and ruining the food supply.
The current trajectory of global greenhouse gas emissions is not consistent with limiting global warming to below 1.5 or 2 °C, projections suggest an increase in global mean temperature in 2100 of 3.7 to 4.8 °C.
- If the world’s temperature rises by three to four degrees, millions of people will begin to flee coastal areas, cities will begin to vanish and some will become islands
- The ice at both poles will vanish and this could see a rise in sea levels of as much as 50m, although this may take hundreds or thousands of years.
- China, a major producer of the world’s rice, wheat and maize, could see its agriculture fail – it will need to feed more than a billion people on two-thirds of its current harvest.
- Summers will be longer and soaring temperatures will see forests turn to firewood, with even Britain’s south reaching 45C. The increased demand on air-conditioning puts massive pressure on the country’s power grid.
- If the world’s temperature increases by six degrees, rainforests will be deserts and massive numbers of migrants will flock to the few parts of the world they see as inhabitable, resulting in racial conflict and civil war.
- Many will choose places such as Canada and Siberia but even those climates may be too hot to grow food.
- Stagnant oceans mean more hydrogen sulphide, which kills the sea-life and, if the sea heats up enough, massive stores of methane hydrate under the sea will begin to escape.
- Methane is flammable and the smallest spark or lightning strike could see fireballs tearing across the sky. Explosions greater than a nuclear bomb could destroy life on earth entirely.
- Sulphur dioxide in the atmosphere will continue to cripple the ozone layer, leaving all remaining life exposed to extreme levels of UV radiation.
Does this sound like the sort of future you wish for your children’s, children?
What are we doing about it?
Society in general is much more aware of the damage that is being done to the environment. Public figures like Greta Thurnburg and David Attenborough are often seen on the news and via social media, stressing that we as earths inhabitants need to act now. There are large groups using social media and protests to bring greater awareness to the people.
As Individuals we have been encouraged to do our bit. Simple everyday measures, such as recycling, use of low energy lightbulbs, home water harvesting and just switching things off are easy measures to help the cause. Others are taking more involved measures, planting trees, eating less, or no meat, growing their own food etc. Others with the finances to do so, are using technology to make a difference. The use of renewable technology like air source heat pumps, heat recovery ventilation and/or moving to an electrical vehicle are becoming more common place. With economies of scale, the cost of these technologies is likely to come down, but it will be sometime before these options are cost effective to a large part of the population.
In the last 2 decades, lots has been done to move towards a cleaner, greener future. Large windfarms are the norm, hydroelectric generation is growing and the use of coal power stations is reducing. The government have run schemes to encourage the uptake of renewable technology. As an effect, solar power (photovoltaics) is now widely used in the UK, both domestically and commercially, with councils, private home owners and commercial solar farms that can be seen almost everywhere in the UK. Commercial Biomass heating and Biogas electrical generation have also grown as a result of government financial incentives.
The government has used the building regulations to enforce better energy efficiency in both commercial and domestic buildings. Although domestic and commercial projects use a slightly different system to prove compliance, both are focused around reducing the requirement of energy. The targets are currently based around carbon reduction but will soon be based on how much primary energy us used. This is achieved through building design and utilization of low carbon low energy technology. These measures are becoming more and more effective to the new build market, but does not impact on exiting building stock and manufacturing processes, which is outside transport, is where the majority of energy is used.
Business close to the consumer have also made changes in recent years, supermarkets have reduced energy use by introducing low energy LED lighting and optimizing mechanical services, they are using less plastic in their packaging and now charge for carrier bags reducing their usageBY 59% IN 2020. large companies have zero carbon targets and are starting
As mentioned previously, much of the energy used in the UK is resultant of the use of existing commercial buildings, industry and manufacturing. The government knows this is an area, where we need to make large changes. They have attempted to create a catalyst for action, by a mixture of awareness incentives and penalties. The Energy Savings Opportunity scheme, means these same businesses have to regularly pay for a report to be compiled with energy saving advise, bringing awareness of measures which can be taken to reduce energy. Financial incentives like the Renewable Heat Incentive, offer income for using low carbon technology. The Carbon Reduction commitment charges big business for every tonne of carbon they emit, with the intent that this encourages them to reduce energy use. In April 2018, a piece of legislation called the “Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard” (MEES) came into force. This requires commercial buildings to hold a valid Energy Performance Certificate(EPC) with a rating of “E” or above, at time of sale, rent or lease. This was designed to encourage landlords to improve energy efficiency but due to some loop holes, this will unlikely have much an effect until 2028.
How can your business help?
What if reducing energy and carbon didn’t have an upfront cost?
What if, implementing technology could actually make you money?
In commercial buildings and especially manufacturing facilities, where large volumes of heating, cooling and electricity are required, this is a reality.
What is required to achieve this, is a well thought out energy strategy. This energy strategy will have been created using “big data” which gives knowledge of where, when and how energy is used.
With this knowledge, heating, cooling and electrical generation systems can be installed which work together and compliment each other. By doing so, these types of buildings and facilities can reduce energy use by up to 40%. With large energy savings comes, large running cost savings.
Manzana search out projects which offer a pay back of less than 24 months. These projects can be financed over 4 or 5 years, meaning that the savings are circa 50% greater than the finance repayments. By doing this, end users can reduce carbon output and add to their bottom line profit. For example, if running cost savings are £500,000, bottom line profit increases by £250,000+