Name: Nur Qurratu’Aini Binte Raff’eh
Student Number: S3745202
Tutorial Time: 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm | Friday
Tutor’s Name: Low Lee Hock Andrew
– Causes of Greenhouse Gas Emission
– Actions taken
– Welfare Implications
Greenhouse effect is a warming of the earth’s surface and lower atmosphere caused by substance such as carbon dioxide and water vapour which let the sun’s energy through to the ground but impede the passage of energy from the earth back into space. However human activities have increased the concentration of the gases that has caused global warming. Global warming has rapidly increase in temperatures that are caused by greenhouse gases trapping extra heat in the atmosphere, which may produce a number of environmental consequences such as extreme weather and rising sea level.
Many governments has realised the issue regarding climate change and wants to implement measure to slow down the process. Hence in 1997, a number of government has gather to address the issue on climate change by endorsing Kyoto protocol. Under that protocol, countries has to meet the target set by national measures. Governments also has signed Paris Agreement within United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. They aim is to keep the increase global average temperature to 2 degrees and limit it to 1.5 degrees.
For some private companies uses the issue of climate change as a potential for them to introduce an alternative ways to retrieve energy. The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has a subsidiary company called SolarCity Corporation where they provides power systems such as financing and installing of solar power systems. Tesla also known for specializes in electric vehicles. They also invented Powerwall home battery that designed to be paired with rooftop solar systems where they could store excess energy produced from our solar generator so that the energy will be able to use at a later time.
Causes of Greenhouse Gas Emission
Figure 1: Total U.S Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector in 2016
Plants and trees intake carbon dioxide and release oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. However due to burning down and cutting down the rainforest, the amount of carbon dioxide are rising. The purpose of deforestation is to make more land available for housing or urbanization, and to create ingredients that are highly priced consumer items such as oil.
Agriculture is cultivating soil, growing crops and raising livestock. Which includes preparation of plant and animal product for human to use and distribution to markets. Nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide emissions are from agricultural soils.
Burning of Fossil Fuels (Electricity ; Industry)
Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are makes up of greenhouse gas emissions. These gases are released during the combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas to produce electricity. Electricity sector involves generation, transmission and distribution of electricity.
Transportation includes the movement of people and goods by cars, trucks, airplanes and other vehicles. Majority of greenhouse gas emissions came from transportation are carbon dioxide resulting from combustion of petroleum-based products like gasoline.
Renewable energy is produced using natural resources that are constantly replaced and never run out. There are different types of renewable energy technologies such as Wind Power, Hydroelectric energy, Solar Panel and many more. Natural resources such as wind, waves, heat and light of the sun would be the source of fuel to the technologies. Renewable energy facilities require less maintenance than traditional generators. Importantly, Renewables energy produce less or no harmful products such as carbon dioxide or any other chemical pollutants, so it has minimal impact on the environment.
Carbon tax is a fee imposed on the burning carbon-based fuels such as coal, oil and gas. Carbon tax is a policy for reducing and eliminating the use of fossil fuels. It is also a way where the user of carbon fuels pay for the climate damage caused by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. A number of countries have already implemented carbon taxes or energy taxes that are related to carbon content. Recently Singapore has announced that they will be implementing carbon tax starting from 2019 onwards.
On December 2015, Paris Agreement was signed with aim to strengthen the treat of climate change by keeping global temperature rise below 2 degrees and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees. Government from 195 countries has agree to come together every 5 years to assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and inform further individual actions.
Electrification of Transportation
By inventing Solar vehicles, it would help to reduce greenhouse gasses than normal cars. As it uses electric energy instead of fuels. The advantages of transitioning vehicles on electricity, it is much more efficient than the vehicles on petroleum. According to Luke Tonachel, they are aiming 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emission form 1990 levels by 2050. Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) confirms that transportations uses electricity instead of petroleum will positively cut down the emissions of greenhouse gases that threaten the environment and health.
Greenhouse emissions issue are serious and one of most concern problem in the world. As they are responsible for depleting the ozone layer as they attack and destroy ozone molecules, which results higher Ultraviolet rays (UV) level reaching on earth. Depletion of ozone layer allows entering of Ultraviolet rays from sun into the earth’s atmosphere which is associated with number of health related and environmental issues. Such as eye damage, skin cancer and also ultraviolet rays affect other life forms too. It affects different species of amphibians and one of the prime reason for declining numbers of amphibian species as it affects them in every stage of their life cycle.
Natural disaster and extreme weather such as wildfires, flooding and drought can be one of the side-effects of increase in global temperature and had affects ecosystems negatively. General risk of negative externalities in society has tip against the benefits. In the graph below, show the effect of negative externality of greenhouse emissions on production.
Next we will be looking at the negative in consumption. Vehicles used by human for their daily transportation can be one of the example of greenhouse emissions.
Vehicles use as daily transportation may cause negative externality of greenhouse gas emissions, which may lead to as one of the issue of climate change. Externalities cost of greenhouse will be added in demand curve which cause social value of vehicles to decrease.
In conclusion, negative effect of the greenhouse emissions has greater impact on climate. Governments has to implement measures that would help to reduce the effects on climate change and improve on welfare and economic development in the country. With organization and businesses reduce the production of carbon footprints, it lead the economy to slow down. Therefore governments has to gather and discuss on how to reduce the effects of greenhouse emission by measurements. At the same time, they have to ensure that the measurements will not affect their country economics.
US EPA. (2017), Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions | US EPA. online Available at: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions Accessed on 18 Aug 2018
Straitstimes.com. (2018), Singapore Budget 2018: Carbo tax of $5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions to be levied. online Available at: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/singapore-budget-2018-carbon-tax-of-5-per-tonne-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions-to-be-levied Accessed 24 Aug 2018
Climate Action – European Commision. (2018). Paris Agreement – Climate Action – European Commision. online Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/international/negotiations/paris_en Accessed on 19 Aug 2018
nccs.gov.sg (2018), Carbon Tax online Available at: https://www.nccs.gov.sg/climate-change-and-singapore/reducing-emissions/carbon-tax Accessed 19 Aug 2018
Elyse Betters 2016, What is SolarCity and why is Telsa buying it? | pocket-lint.com online https://www.pocket-lint.com/smart-home/news/tesla/138486-what-is-solarcity-and-why-is-tesla-buying-it Accessed on 25 Aug 2018
Luke Tonachel 2016, Study: Benefits of Electric Cars Add Up – in the Billions! online Available at: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/luke-tonachel/study-benefits-electric-cars-add-billions Accessed at 26 Aug 2018
Australian Renewable Energy Agency (2018), What is renewable energy? online Available at: https://arena.gov.au/about/what-is-renewable-energy/ Accessed on 30 Aug 2018