Do you know that even the simplest of the tasks, such as, what you pick out to eat, how you choose to dispose of if you travel via road or air, and many more cause greenhouse gas emissions? In 2016, Australia was among the top 15 countries that contributed the most towards carbon emissions per person. This leaves us with no doubt that climate change is indeed an overwhelming concern down under.
Impacts Of Climate Change In Australia
Greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, methane and water vapour can absorb the heat emitted from the earth’s surface and radiate it back to earth. This leads to an increased concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Due to the heat getting trapped, we experience a rise in the temperature.
In the last 50 years, the number of days that break heat records has doubled. The heatwaves are only getting intense and frequent each year. Unfortunately, it’s not just the higher temperatures that Australia is experiencing, it’s also witnessing extreme droughts, floods and fire seasons. We can never forget the horrors of the weeklong Wooroloo bushfire in February 2021.
Another important yet worrisome aftermath of greenhouse emissions has been on the oceans and seas. They have become more acidic as they tend to soak up heat along with excess carbon from the atmosphere.
Having said that, these are just some of the consequences that Australia has observed till now and there are high chances of many that are yet to be discovered.
What Can Be Done?
As part of a thriving civilisation and country that contributes highly towards carbon emissions, the responsibility of taking care of our planet lies in our hands. If each one of us knows how to reduce carbon footprint and does our bit, we can make our environment healthy once again. All we need to be mindful of is our carbon footprint. Now before you curve your eyebrow into a question mark thinking how you can achieve this, just sit back and keep reading – we’re here with all the answers.
Decoding Carbon Footprint
An organisation’s carbon footprint is the total amount of its carbon dioxide emission over a period of time. Carbon is the most commonly emitted gas by humans. According to research done by Our World in Data in 2019, Australia has an average per capita footprint of 17 tonnes. This is more than 3 times higher than the global average, which was 4.8 tonnes per person in 2017.
Mostly, an individual’s carbon footprint comes from transport, housing and food. It stands true for organisations as well. Moving of goods and services from one place to another or burning of fuel at factories or preparing meals for employees on a large scale. Almost everything that requires a person’s or company’s life to propel, is contributing to the carbon footprint. It is possible for a product or service to emit greenhouse gases even after its shelf/service life has expired. So, it becomes further critical for organisations to step up and make sure that we leave a healthy world for future generations.
Now, you must be contemplating how to know your own or your organisation’s carbon footprint. It’s a complex science that calls for numerous permutations and combinations. But you don’t have to worry about any of that, we’ve got it all covered for you. But let’s discuss what are carbon offsetting and carbon credits before we dive any further. Sometimes, carbon offsets and carbon credits are used interchangeably. However, there is a thin line between the two. Let’s find out.
It is a dependable and reckonable way to make up for an individual’s or organisation’s carbon emissions. Those who invest in carefully chosen carbon offset projects, like renewable energy projects or tree-planting activities, extend social and economic benefits to communities along with reduced emissions. Just like a butterfly effect, amirite?
Each year, we see more organisations demanding carbon offsets voluntarily as they factor the risk of climate change into their future planning. It is essential for companies to take up the ownership of saving our climate by identifying the most efficient carbon offsetting solution and developing a tailored action plan for their business.
Here Are Some Benefits Of Carbon Offsetting:
- Meet emission reduction targets
- Alignment with sustainability principles
- Increased customer loyalty and sales
- Build capacity to manage climate risk
- Environmental, social & economic co-benefits and impact on communities
To put it in a simpler way, carbon credits are like allowances for emission, usually received from the government. When an organisation buys carbon emission credits, they are permitted to generate a tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.
To calculate an individual’s or organisation’s carbon footprint, you can use this calculator. It’s transparent and accurate – a carbon footprint calculator Australia has been waiting for, fair dinkum! It also doubles as a carbon credit calculator. With such calculators, apart from determining the numbers, you can also get to know facts, tips and steps to reduce your carbon footprint that can easily be applied to your daily life. So, you can either offset your footprint or calibrate your carbon credit hassle-free.
Once you start using a calculator, it’ll get heaps convenient to devise ways onhow to reduce the carbon footprint of your organisation or yourself. Remember that carbon footprint is calculated retrospectively as it’s based on the consumption of resources for a particular time period. So, it’s best to keep the data handy. Try to feed in as much information as you can, it helps in determining precise results.
“Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all.”
-Ban Ki-Moon, Former Secretary-General of the UN
Climate change and its impacts are serious stumbling blocks. We must come together to combat this threat and use our powers for a positive change. Let’s start today and promise a better tomorrow.