There are many scientists who have refuted the theory of «global warming» and the impact of CO2 emissions on the climate. What is considered the generally accepted climate concept now?
97% of the world's climatologists agree that the cause of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
The main sources of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are mining, transportation, and fossil fuel combustion, industry, agriculture and waste.
Greenhouse gas emissions have been significantly reduced, with TPPs' construction being ceased around the world, energy and industry being switched to renewables, and emissions reduced along with the reduction in electricity consumption caused by the start of the pandemic. Is this enough to prevent a climate crisis? If that is not enough, should we continue to switch to RES and reduce emissions, because climate change is still going on?
Even such a short-term reduction in emissions will have little impact on the long-term and accumulated atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
Humans still produce too much greenhouse gases. According to the International Climate Change Expert Group, to keep global temperature change at the level of 1.5 - 2 ℃, total anthropogenic emissions must be reduced by 7.6% annually from now until 2030. Finally, emissions must reach zero.
Therefore, it is very important that the world chooses the path of systemic changes in climate policy, consumer behavior, technical equipment, etc. to recover from the effects of the pandemic. This is the only reliable rescue from the worsening of climate crisis.
Unfortunately, Ukraine has not yet shown the ambition and inspiration to join the «green» recovery after the pandemic. In the ranking of countries according to the Climate Change Performance Index for 2020, Ukraine dropped to 20th place, although in 2019 it ranked 17th.
Environmental pollution knows no national borders: what one country does easily transcends borders and spreads further across the planet with air and water. If the neighboring country does not follow environmental practices, then all your efforts are in vain. Is there a chance that the concept of responsibility for non-environmental practices will ever be accepted by all countries?
Indeed, in order to overcome the global threat to the environment, it is necessary to act in a coordinated manner and unite the efforts of many countries. What are some examples of such global responsibility?
For example, in 2015, the Paris Agreement was signed to keep the average global temperature at 1.5 - 2 ℃. As of November 2019, it has been ratified by 187 countries.
Also, more than 100 countries around the world have announced their intention to achieve climate neutrality in 30 years. These countries include Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the European Union. China has also set such a goal, but for 2060.
In its National Economic Strategy for the next decade, Ukraine also pointed at the need to achieve climate neutrality by 2060. And at the end of 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Course - a roadmap for European governments, which provides specific practical recommendations for achieving climate neutrality.
If we talk about incentives to maintain environmental security, then, as an example, we can provide carbon taxes. In March of this year, the European Parliament voted in favor of introducing a carbon tax at the border, which will enter in force in 2023. Exporting companies will need to reduce their carbon footprint if they do not want to overpay and lose profits.
Let us try to understand who and what is most responsible for emissions in Ukraine. Is this the industry, agriculture, transport, energy - that harms the environment the most?
According to the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, most of them account for the energy sector - it is 66% in 2019. The next sectors are industry - 17%, agriculture - 13% and waste - 4%. This is when it comes to gas emissions that cause global climate change.
Each of the sectors harms the environment in its own way. Energy produces the most greenhouse gases and accelerates global warming.
Damage from industry consists of several segments: extraction of raw materials, energy consumption, cement production, chemicals and oil refining. Each of the stages affects the depletion of soils and water resources, water and air pollution.
Transport, in addition to the use of fossil fuels, is responsible for noise pollution in both settlements and natural ecosystems where the roads run.
Highways passing through natural ecosystems often cut off animals' seasonal migration routes, reducing the population of wild and rare animals, leading to biodiversity loss.
Even salting the roads has its consequences. Together with melt water in the spring, all this salt seeps into the soil and flows into rivers. All harmful substances are carried downstream and deposited in reservoirs and the sea. In the soil, they accumulate and gradually salt it, making it less suitable for healthy plant growth.
For the needs of agriculture, forests are cut down, and in their place either fields are planted or cattle are grazed. Due to improper utilization of manure, abuse of nitrogen fertilizers and their untimely application, water, air and soil are polluted with nitrates. A striking manifestation of nitrate pollution is the flowering of water with green-blue algae. This substance often gets into groundwater, and with them in the well. If their concentration is exceeded, it is fatal.