The emission of carbon was not such a big deal billion of years ago. Hardly would anyone have issues with burning a bush centuries ago, but on the occasion of the damaging effect posed by climate change, the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere demands that we all pay attention to our individual action and even inactions. This amount of carbon dioxide that is given off due to human activities is quite substantial and has been having a great effect on the environment, some of which have been in the form of flooding, drought, rising sea levels, and melting of glaciers. It is notable that CO2 can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years.
Carbon footprint, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, family, building, organization, or company. A person’s carbon footprint includes the greenhouse gas emissions from the fuel that an individual burns directly, such as heating a home or riding a car. Greenhouse gases are also from the production of the goods or services individuals make use of, which comprises the release of CO2 from power plants, factories, and landfills where trash gets sent.
Globally, the average amount of greenhouse gases generated by an individual is about 4 tons. At a time when we are trying to save the earth, our planet home from the damaging effect of climate change, knowing that our best shot at this is to avoid having a 2℃ rise in global temperatures, we must all work toward an average global carbon footprint of below 2 tons by the year 2050 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2014).
It has now become necessary, if not compulsory that we start making adjustments to the way we live and the things we consume. These changes will have to come in the form of eating fewer meats, taking more of public transports, and drying our clothes through nature’s provision (sun).
Ayodeji Adekanbi is a graduate of Physics from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He is a social and energy enthusiast whose heart is keen on seeing an eruption of Renewable Enegy alive in Nigeria and Africa. A current postgraduate fellow of Renewable Energy at the Prestigious university of Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria. He is a staunch advocate of the SDGs and believes they are largely achievable by 2030, given our individual, and mutual contribution in our respective sectors and mode of living.
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