The Inconvenient Truth About Sustainability
World leaders are adopting tough emissions targets in an attempt to significantly reduce the impact of global warming by 2050. However, question marks remain over how the necessary reductions can be achieved.
Policy makers are focused on the desirable end point of a world powered by renewable energy while glossing over the uncomfortable fact that the investment, technology upgrades and infrastructure required are not yet in place.
“We need to stop talking about targets and green dividends and start considering the practical steps we need to take to get to the point where we have a truly sustainable global economy,” says David Tomasi, Global Leader of Energy, Mining and Renewables at Moore.
Moore’s Energy, Mining and Renewables experts around the world have proposed five short- to medium-term solutions to the most pressing issues that can be implemented now.
Electrify vital parts of the mining process. Start with the huge haul trucks that move minerals around the world’s biggest open cast sites and are currently powered by diesel.
Use LNG as a marine fuel. Shipping accounts for 90% of world trade and is responsible for nearly 3% of all global carbon dioxide emissions. LNG could cut emissions by 30%.
Improve the infrastructure to support electric vehicles (EVs). Charging networks are sprouting across developed countries but work is required to make EVs more attractive to consumers in Latin America, Africa and south Asia.
Reduce the energy required by cryptocurrency mining. The mechanisms used to validate transactions of Bitcoin and many other online currencies use huge amounts of energy, most of it powered by coal. Other types of validation are less energy-intensive.
Take a fresh look at nuclear. Plants are expensive to build but they will last for at least 60 years and technical advances have addressed many of the safety and security issues that have made politicians nervous of commissioning them in the past.