Decarbonisation is a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Decarbonisation is also the pathway to – and often discussed in conjunction with – concepts such as net zero emissions, carbon neutrality and a low-carbon economy. Top sources of GHG emissions, in the world, include transportation, electricity production, industry, commercial and residential buildings, agriculture, and land use/forestry.

The increased process of carbon dioxide emissions has a negative impact on agriculture and food production, increased risk of extreme weather conditions, increased interruption of the supply chain and other – often irreversible – effects.

Ideally, decarbonisation is achieved without compromising overall efficiency, quality, competitiveness or growth. However, achieving decarbonisation for a country, city, organisation or individual is not easy.

Broadly speaking, climate change and its huge impacts are driving the push for decarbonisation. Rapid decarbonisation is needed on a global scale to prevent the planet from warming by more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, as per the Paris Agreement.

In addition to supply chain, health and agricultural concerns, rising fuel costs, increased energy demand and urbanisation, and diminishing fossil fuel resources are also contributing to driving the shift towards a low-carbon economy. 

New solutions to achieve decarbonisation are constantly being developed. Some popular methods are as follows:

  • Reduction of emissions
  • A switch to fossil fuel alternatives in the form of renewable energy sources (e.g., solar and wind energy) or low-carbon fuels and energy sources
  • Expanded renewable energy use by improving availability and developing energy storage
  • Increased energy efficiency and reduced waste at and in power plants, production processes, services, buildings, and end-use products.

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