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Development in various industrial sectors, transportation, construction, and even travel, all contribute to the degradation of our planet! The solution lies in achieving zero-emissions, which means minimizing the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. We must take action for our planet. It is no longer just a slogan; it is a necessity. The enormous leap in human development over the last decades has pushed Earth to the brink of catastrophe. The answer to this lies in zero-emissions, which involves reducing our carbon footprint and transitioning to renewable energy sources. It is no longer just large companies and corporations that need to act; households, too, contribute to atmospheric pollution and must be part of the solution.
The concept of zero-emissions is closely linked to the definition of a carbon footprint. It refers to the sum of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere each year. As mentioned earlier, these emissions are generated not only by industrial companies but also by all individuals. Even small decisions, when made by many people, can alter the fate of our planet. Therefore, it is essential to understand what zero-emissions means.
For those who care about ecological issues, it is crucial to familiarize themselves with the concept of zero-emissions. The definition states that it involves using renewable energy sources. However, it can be expanded further, as the term "zero emissions" is also used in a slightly different context. It refers to a balance between the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and its absorption. This can be achieved in several ways: By relying on natural carbon sinks, such as forests, soil, or oceans, which can remove up to 11 gigatons of CO2 annually. By offsetting greenhouse gas emissions, such as investing in renewable energy sources. By imposing carbon taxes on goods imported from countries that do not prioritize climate safety.
To understand why zero-emissions is essential for our planet, we must be aware of the current state of affairs. Climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, is resulting in environmental degradation. The greenhouse effect leads to the melting of glaciers and the extinction of species. It also causes extreme weather events, leading to immense material losses. In response to these challenges, European institutions have implemented a stringent climate policy. The European Green Deal aims to make Europe the first continent with completely balanced CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, a goal set to be achieved by 2050. This process occurs in several stages, with the EU aiming for a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 (the current limit is 40%).
The pursuit of zero-emissions encompasses many industries, including construction. Not everyone is aware that this sector accounts for a staggering 38% of global CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. It is not the construction process itself that has a degrading impact on the climate; it is the subsequent use of the buildings!
In new construction, EU recommendations are now considered during the design phase. Most new homes utilize renewable energy sources, with solar power experiencing significant growth. Solar panels not only provide households with energy security, but they also eliminate the need for fossil fuel-powered boilers and heaters. The choice of building materials also influences emissions. Materials should be natural, recycled, and biodegradable, ensuring heat retention and protecting investments. All new buildings must be emission-free by 2030, and older ones should be appropriately modernized by 2050.
Zero-emissions can also be pursued in the transportation sector. Electric cars are becoming more accessible, and the network of charging stations is expanding. However, a challenge arises in the commercial transportation of goods. Achieving a zero-emission truck may seem difficult, but progress is evident in this area as well. Electrically powered semitrailers with a range of 300 km have been introduced, such as those produced by Volvo Trucks. Manufacturing companies can also reduce their carbon footprint by opting for renewable energy sources and ensuring sustainable transportation of their goods.
Currently, it is not only essential to understand what zero-emissions means but also to strive to implement it in our lives. This involves making changes on a personal level, such as altering the way we heat our homes and choosing sustainable means of transportation. Every responsible decision counts.