Measures to reduce our CO2 footprint have been discussed vehemently under the umbrella of climate protection or mitigation of climate change. Lately however, there is a shift in communication that these measures don’t save the climate, but our future – we have to stop insisting on the status quo.
Possible measures for reduction
The climate system is out of equilibrium due to our lifestyle which is based on burning fossil fuels and large-scale land use changes. Even though the impacts of human made climate change is felt globally through increased damages and fatalities, global emissions are still increasing (e.g. 2022 +1.5%) while for reaching the Paris Agreement we need a sharp decrease! Therefore, urgent actions to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions need to be taken. There is great knowledge of specific sectors – their emissions as well as possible measures for reduction.
For instance, within the energy sector different actions are suitable at various levels and highly needed since emissions to this sector are still increasing and the needed energy is supplied by 82% through fossil fuels. Possible measures to reduce emissions range from energy production shift towards renewable sources (photovoltaic, wind – currently 18%) to demand-side actions (e.g., shift in habits to match energy demand with available energy supply, increased active mobility) as well as energy efficiency of buildings.
Connecting multiple sectors
Other sectors, such as agriculture offer great potential in reducing the related greenhouse gas emissions, for instance by changes in diets – away from meat and dairy based products towards more vegetarian and vegan ones, or improved manure management.
The impact of specific measures on the targeted sectors have been investigated over the past but within KNOWING the impact is not only looked at within one sector, but rather multiple sectors: e.g., how can changes in energy supply impact transportation within a region? Or how is the health sector impacted by changes in diets?