At IFC, we fully understand the risks that we face on a global scale when it comes to global warming. A widespread change is required in order to attempt to reverse the damage we have caused to the planet and so, we will be producing a range of articles that look at future fuels and the impact they will play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
With zero carbon emission goals in place and a target of 2050, it’s vital that more is done to make the switch from fossil fuels to sustainable alternatives. The goal is to drive down greenhouse gas emissions that come from fossil fuels with the single goal of preventing irreversible damage to our planet. On an international level, countries have now committed to meet these targets which fall under the 2015 Paris Agreement. In addition to this, businesses and individuals are also changing the way in which they use fuel. The main focus is to replace fossil fuels with fuels of the future. It is a big change and a huge collective drive is required but the technology is evolving and changing, which means that it is possible to achieve these goals.
The Damage that Fossil Fuels Cause
In order to create fuel, fossil fuels are burned but when this takes place, greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere. These gases cause heat to remain trapped within the earth’s atmosphere and this is where problems arise.
To provide some element of scale, around 74% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US in 2019 came from fossil fuels while 25% of all emissions in the US come from fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels is causing damage to almost every part of life on earth.
A minimum of 25% of the carbon dioxide that comes from fossil fuels is absorbed by the ocean and this is changing the chemistry which is causing ocean acidification. This increase in acidity creates an environment where marine organisms are unable to build shells or coral skeletons. There has been an increase of 30% in ocean acidity over the last 150 years and this is putting coral reefs at risk as well as tourism, fishing and economies.
A lot has been said about changes to the weather as a result of global warming. We are now experiencing more severe weather events around the world and these disasters are having huge implications in terms of life and costs. This includes hurricanes, flooding droughts and wildfires, all of which cost a total of $606 billion from 2016 to 2020.
As the temperature of the earth rises, so does the sea level. Glaciers and ice sheets are melting at an alarming rate and since the 1800s, sea levels have risen by around 9 inches. This has caused frequent flooding, storm surges but with large populations of the earth living along with coastal areas, this is likely to see communities, towns and even cities impacted by the rising sea levels. In addition to this, the cost of strengthening sea defences is going to require an investment that costs billions.
The petroleum landscape is changing but at IFC, we understand the changes fully. As a result, we consider this when building our products. If you would like to discuss future fuels in further detail and to find out more about adapting your loading site to accommodate biofuels, please feel free to get in touch with us today.