MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC Changes for the Better
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Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emission

12.04.20235 min read

We globally emit 40 gigatonnes CO2 and other greenhouse gases, as individuals and as manufacturers, per year.

Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emissions are the main driver of climate change, presenting one of the world’s most important challenges. Global temperatures have risen rapidly over the last few decades. It is now approximately 0.7 degree Celsius higher compared to the 1961–90 baseline.

According to an IPCC report a changing climate has a wide range of implications: ecological, physical and health, including extreme weather events (such as floods, droughts, storms, and heat waves); sea-level rise; altered crop growth; and disrupted water systems.

Weather anomalies linked directly to increased CO2 emissions

The climate changes we have observed in recent decades are largely the result of an imbalance in the natural composition of the Earth’s atmosphere. The greenhouse gases that contribute to so many problems today have been present in the air for a very long time. They are formed by natural processes – especially methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) – and are needed to sustain life on Earth (eg. CO2 is involved in photosynthesis, so it is necessary for plants to function). Both CH4 and CO2 affect the average air temperature on Earth.

Greenhouse gases trap some of the energy supplied by the sun near Earth. A decrease in their concentration would cause an increase in the emission of heat from the Earth into space, resulting in a decrease in air temperature. An increase in their concentration has the opposite effect: heat is retained in the atmosphere, so the airtemperature rises. CO2, emitted into the atmosphere as a result of human activity, is primarily responsible for disrupting the natural balance. The sharp increase in the magnitude of this phenomenon in the last two centuries is mainly due to the development of industries using energy from the combustion of non-renewable fuels and massive deforestation.

Among the most serious, most acute effects of rising CO2 concentrations are an increase in average air temperature, a rise in sea and ocean temperatures, the melting of glaciers and in the mean sea levels.

United Nations experts alert: “Greenhouse gas concentrations are at their highest levels in 2 million years and emissions continue to rise.
As a result, the Earth is now about 1.1 Celsius degrees warmer than it was in the late 1800s. The last decade (2011–2020) was the warmest on record.
Many people think climate change primarily means warmer temperatures. But higher temperature is only the beginning of the story. Because the Earth consists in the system where everything is connected, changes in one area may influence changes in all others.
The consequences of climate change now include, among others, intense droughts, water scarcity, severe fires, rising sea levels, flooding, melting polar ice, catastrophic storms and declining biodiversity.
(...) In a series of United Nations reports, thousands of scientists and government reviewers agreed that limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 Celsius degrees would help us avoid the worst climate impacts and maintain a livable climate.
Yet based on current national climate plans, global warming is projected to reach around 3.2 Celsius degrees by the end of the century”.

The melting of the ice sheet, icebergs and glaciers feeds the seas and oceans with large amounts of water, causing the average sea level to rise.

Rising temperatures have further secondary effects, including a higher incidence of dangerous weather events such as tornadoes and violent storms. Desertification and land degradation are intensifying, and the threat of famine is increasing as a result.

IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land
autors say: “Land degradation adversely affects people’s livelihoods and occurs over a quarter of the Earth’s ice-free land area. The majority of the 1.3 to 3.2 billion affected people are living in poverty in the developing countries”.

What can we do about it ?

The changes described above cannot be halted without reducing CO2 emissions. If want to make it, we need to focus on decarbonise our energy systems (electricity, heat, transport, and industrial activities) and reduce emissions from food production and agriculture (which includes agriculture and land use change, since agriculture dominates global land use). The issue is extremely pressing and there is no time to waste.

In order to stop climate change a holistic approach and the cooperation of all stake holders is required. Due to the wide scope of their activities and their global character, corporate companies such as Mitsubishi Electric have an important role to play in the process of keeping our planet safe for future generations. It is our responsibility to take an active part in the process of carbon and other greenhouse gas reduction.

For Mitsubishi Electric, social responsibility is not just words…

In 2020 company has set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030, which have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). What is the goal?

To contribute towards maintaining global warming below 2°C relative to pre-industrial temperatures (a key aim of the „Paris Agreement”) by greenhouse gas reduction throughout the wide range of MItsubishi Electric business areas.

Mitsubishi Electric will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 by:

1. Increased contribution to reducing the CO2 emission factor of electric power
2. Reduction of emissions by products.
3. Reduction of emissions in production.
4. Improvements in efficiency and spread of power semiconductor devices etc

Photo: Getty Images

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