Ever since industrial age, the world has never been healthier than the last 3 months. Most may not agree with this statement with the COVID-19 pandemic causing an unprecedented human and health crisis. The COVID-19 has triggered an economic downturn and there is great uncertainty about its severity and length. But as more countries enters’ lockdown, borders closed, companies closed and human traffic minimised, the world is entering a climate positive phase.

Why is there a drop in Carbon Emission in 2020?

No one expected 2020 to start the way it did. The spread of COVID-19 is now a global pandemic. Countries are either in partial or full lock down. There are many flights being cancelled or delayed. There is a significant reduction in factory production where only essential items are being produced and traded. As a result, the decreased human movement implemented world-wide has had a knock-on effect on the worlds greenhouse gas emissions. 1Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford University in California, said carbon output could fall by more than 5% this year. This could be the star the world has needed. But the question we need to be asking ourselves now is, is this sustainable?, What will happen when the world resumes its usual business? Do we really need a pandemic to be climate positive and reduce our carbon emissions?

Companies as big as countries are pledging to reduce carbon footprint

Opulent companies like Microsoft© and Ikea® has announced they would be carbon negative by 2030. If fact, Microsoft© is actually planning to remove all the atmospheric carbon it has ever produced by 2050.

Microsoft©

To accomplish these objectives, Microsoft© is adopting a multi-step strategy. To begin with, the organization is multiplying its inner carbon expense, a kind of “charge” on itself, to $15 for each metric ton of carbon dioxide it produces. The cash will then be invested in sustainability technologies like carbon sequestration, a sort of carbon capture that effectively expels carbon dioxide from the environment.

Ikea®

This monumental task includes the enormous scope change of its whole inventory network, changing to 100% sustainable energy sources, presenting more plant-based alternatives in its cafeterias, and utilizing increasingly recyclable materials in its products. The organization likewise expects to supplant its entire delivery fleet with electric vehicles by 2025.

Enovatek

IKEA® and Microsoft© are two of the biggest names in climate positive companies, but they aren’t alone. There are many companies worldwide pushing for this initiative. One such local company is Enovatek Energy Pte Ltd. Unlike IKEA® and Microsoft© strategies on improving their company’s way of operation, Enovatek is pushing to reduce carbon emission by producing energy efficient technologies by packaging solutions to ensure that customers are achieving the highest possible level of energy-savings through energy management products such as Enovatek’s Solar Air Conditioners. Enovatek’s products, which includes Solar Aircon, Battery Storage, LED Lightings, Solar and wind Turbines, aims to reduce the reliant traditional energy for ones need.

If companies can reduce their carbon footprint, can’t countries follow?

Vast majority of countries, 189 of them, have done just that. On 22 April 2016, under the Paris agreement, an agreement was achieved within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016. Under the Paris Agreement, each country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming. The main strategy involved energy and climate policy including the so-called 20/20/20 targets, namely the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20%, the increase of renewable energy’s market share to 20%, and a 20% increase in energy efficiency.

Was Singapore part of the Paris agreement?

Absolutely. In 2009, 2Singapore pledged to reduce emissions by 16 per cent from business-as-usual (BAU) levels by 2020. In 2015, Singapore further committed to reduce our Emissions Intensity (EI) – the amount of green house gases emitted per dollar GDP – by 36 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The Government of Singapore has set ambitious targets under our 2030 pledge and meeting them will require concerted efforts by the government, businesses, households and individuals.

How can an individual contribute to reduce their carbon footprint?

Expertly offsetting your unavoidable CO2 emissions is a practical and prompt approach to take responsibility for individual commitment to environmental change.

Airconditioning

Make energy efficiency a primary consideration when choosing a new air conditioning unit. Products bearing the ENERGY STAR label are recognized for having superior efficiency.

Lighting

Turn off lights you’re not using and when you leave the room. Replace incandescent light bulbs LED ones.

Solar

Adding solar panels to the roof of your home if possible. This cost a little more than the above options, but you could eliminate your electricity bill or even earn money by selling electricity back to the grid.

Water usage

Lower the amount of water usage by making water-efficient choices when purchasing shower heads, faucet heads, toilets, dishwashers and washing machines.

Reuse and recycle

By buying used products and reselling or recycling items you no longer use, you dramatically reduce your carbon footprint.

Conclusion

Knowledge gained from COVID-19 should make us stop waiting for future pandemics and start taking action today to reduce our carbon emissions to address climate change. Carbon offsetting should not be done in place of taking steps to reduce one’s carbon footprint. Carbon offsetting and carbon footprint reduction should be done in tandem.

Improving energy efficiency in our industry, buildings, transport, household, and water and generating power more cleanly and efficiently. Most of the measures will reduce energy costs for businesses and households, and bring economic benefits, especially in the longer term. There may also be co-benefits such as a cleaner environment. Individuals, businesses and the government must work together to review existing practices

Our carbon mitigation efforts, together with steps taken to adapt to climate change, will ensure that our world remains a sustainable, vibrant and liveable city for current and future generations.

START TAKING ACTION TODAY.

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