Blog from Jane Marsh: Why We Need a Decarbonization Roadmap

By 2022, most countries developed independent sustainability goals to improve the environment and the global economy. Achieving net-zero emission goals requires nations to adopt new practices, technologies, industries and other related features. Environmentalists developed decarbonization roadmaps that guide individuals towards a sustainable future.

Before adopting the roadmaps, countries must assess the efficiency and logistics of the integration methods. When the International Energy Agency released a global decarbonization roadmap in 2021, it received some immediate backlash. Critics targeted some unrealistic elements of the document and questioned the global demand for decarbonization.

The Global Demand for Decarbonization

The International Energy Agency’s roadmap targets greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector. Nearly 84% of global energy derives from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. The agency highlights the transportation sector’s transition towards electric technologies to shrink its carbon footprint.

It also highlights the transition towards renewable energy sources. Environmentalists are targeting greenhouse gas emissions to improve the environment, economy and society’s health. Preserving the global ecosystem is essential for maintaining individuals’ access to vital resources.

Minimizing adverse ecological effects can also improve society’s well-being. Inhaling greenhouse gasses may decrease individuals’ health. Pollution increases one’s risk of asthma attacks, lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses.

The agency’s roadmap can effectively protect humanity from additional health effects. Some countries need a roadmap to limit interference throughout the transition period. The document can also support a nation’s economy by creating green jobs and minimizing energy costs.

How Can a Roadmap Help Individuals Meet their Sustainability Goals?

Roadmaps create a space for different industrial leaders to work together on developing sustainability goals. The documents evaluate emissions from the building, transportation, electricity and other non-energy sectors. Each sector relies on the other to support a functional economy.

Professionals in each industry can minimize interferences and create a holistic and supportive approach to developing decarbonized nations. The roadmaps also create baseline regulations to reduce competition in industries. When governments support the roadmaps, they often designate a portion of funding to decarbonization projects.

America developed a $75 million package for the natural gas and industrial sectors. The Department of Energy is using the funding to create technological advancement, supporting emission reduction goals. Other government funds are increasing the nation’s access to crucial decarbonization features.

What are the Roadmaps Key Features?

One of the roadmap’s features is renewable energy. The agency plans on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 by eliminating the global reliance on fossil fuels. Nations can develop sustainable energy sectors by adopting renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

Regions can establish clean electric grids by installing more solar farms and rooftop panels. Solar energy may increase grid reliability. Many areas experience frequent power outages from storms and other related occurrences.

Traditionally, individuals install gas-powered generators on their properties to minimize power loss during storms. Gasoline is challenging to store and costs more than solar power. Switching out a conventional generator for a solar panel can help decarbonize and support economic stability.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the price of gas increased. Adopting a clean electric grid could decrease energy costs because solar is the most cost-effective electricity source on the market. Another feature of the roadmap is adopting electric vehicles.

The agency plans on ending all combustion vehicle sales by 2035. Countries can develop fully sustainable transportation systems by powering their vehicles with clean electricity. Researchers expect the transition to occur at different times around the globe.

When Will We Reach the End of the Road?

Americans may expect a mass transition away from fossil fuels starting this year. The Biden-Harris administration is taking ambitious strides towards sustainability. President Biden is currently working on decarbonizing the transportation sector in America.

The administration is also funding offshore wind farm projects. It plans on using the excess renewable energy to power the clean electric grid. Other regions have already adopted decarbonized energy supplies, while some areas are taking longer to transition.

About the author: Jane works as an environmental and energy writer. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co

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