Britain has led the way in promising to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero carbon by 2050, a laudable ambition to counteract climate change but is it possible. It can be achieved if we look to the natural sources of energy in Sun, Tide, Wind and Water, readily available and completely carbon neutral.
Water Powered Technologies have championed zero carbon technology for decades with their zero carbon water pumps which can replace diesel or electric pumps to deliver water for agriculture, off-grid living and communities in the developing world. The pumps just use the natural power of flowing water and by using available surface water they don’t contribute to the abstraction of groundwater and affect the water table.
But how can we achieve the ambitious 2050 deadline with our modern, energy hungry consumer society?
The government has looked to the future developments of ‘carbon capture’ to meet goals, but these technologies are, as yet, unproven.
The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has released a new report ‘Zero Carbon Britain: Rising to the Climate Emergency’ which suggests that a Zero Carbon Britain is possible today without relying on future developments. CAT proposes that using a combination of energy savings, increasing renewable energy supplies and encouraging significant lifestyle and dietary changes, would be sufficient to meet targets.
What we need to do to become Carbon Free…
Reducing Energy Use
Building new houses to better energy efficiency standards, including insulated materials, triple glazing, LED lighting and air-source heat pumps, could reduce energy costs to just £15 per year, say CAT. And retro fitting to existing buildings could reduce heating costs by 50%. The way we use transport, including increased use of public transport, driving electric vehicles and cutting flights, could reduce carbon emissions by 78%.
Increasing Renewable Energy Supplies
The report claims that it is possible to generate the UK’s total energy demand with renewable and carbon-neutral energy – half provided by wind while other sources include geothermal, hydro, tidal and solar. Carbon neutral synthetic fuels are also an important alternative to electricity for industry and transport.
Changes to Agriculture and Food Production
Switching from meat and dairy to plant-based diets, reducing food waste and using seasonal crops can go a long way to cutting carbon emissions. The report suggests that this would:
- Reduce livestock greenhouse gas emissions by 57% (compared to 2017)
- Cut food imports from 42% to 17%
- Enable 75% of current livestock grazing land to be restored to forests and peat-lands.
- By eating local and seasonal food it would reduce imports.