We can never have enough talk on Climate change. Over the past 200 years, human activities have pushed to the edge of environmental disaster and possible extinction.
However, it’s not too late to collaborate together and individually to mitigate this fast growing nature-depletion. Continuously, we emphasize on possible ways to minimize this damage, and a major action is wrapped around the carbon footprint.
Let’s start by understanding the carbon footprint phenomenon.
What is a Carbon Footprint?
Often times, we hear and use the phrase “Carbon Footprint” in the fields of environmental, clean energy and climate change, without really understanding its meaning.
Carbon footprint is a measure of the total amount of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere as a result of individual or collective (i.e. organization, or nation) actions, and is usually measured in tons of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).
A greenhouse gas (GHG) is any type gas that when released into the atmosphere, blocks heat from escaping. The most common and major of these gases are carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (NO), methane (CH4) and aerosols.
When these gases are emitted into the atmosphere, they trap heat from the sun. Although the trapping of the heat is a natural occurrence, when these gases accumulate much in the atmosphere, they trap more heat, causing the earth to warm up at an unusual rate, and increase in temperature.
An individual’s carbon foot print measures the amount of carbon dioxide released via activities such as bush burning decay of open faeces, emission of CO from car exhaust and generators, etc.
Biggest Causes of Carbon Footprint
Data from 2017, shows that Nigeria has an annual Carbon Footprint (i.e. CO2 emission) of 122.78 million tonnes. So what exactly is driving these emissions?
Further global data shows that four major industries contribute most of the GHG emissions. These industries are
+ Energy (the burning of fossil fuels i.e. the oil sector))
+ Land-use change and forestry (altering or converting land)
+ Industrial processes
+ Waste (mostly responsible for methane gases)
However, because a majority of these emissions are from industries doesn’t imply that Climate Change actions is solely dependent on them and the government. We as individuals also contribute, and a collective of multiple individual efforts will go a long way in mitigating it. The next article talks on how calculate and individually reduce climate change.
Click here to read.