If global greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reduction opportunities are pursued to their full potential, €200-billion to €350-billion would have to be spent yearly on these initiatives by 2030, according to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
McKinsey says in a report entitled ‘Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy’ that in its analysis, it has found the potential to curb GHG emissions by 35% compared with the levels in 1990, or by 70%, by 2030, compared with the levels at which the emissions would be if no attempt was made to reduce them.
This would be sufficient to have a good chance of holding global warming below the 2 ºC threshold, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
On a per capita basis, South Africa is one of the world’s worst polluters and government has signalled that it intends to tackle this issue head-on. The first steps it took towards reducing South Africa’s carbon output was announced in the 2008 Budget Review, when a 2c/kW environmental levy on electricity generated from nonrenewable resources was announced.
At the time, the Treasury noted that the “electricity levy should be seen as the first step towards the introduction of a more comprehensive emissions-based carbon tax”.
Further afield, the European Union’s Emissions Trading System model has placed a cap on emissions and provides for the selling of allowances through auctions. The US is expected to follow this model. Proceeds from the auctions are intended to support the development of renewable-energy and other clean technologies and foster innovation in the clean-energy economy to create green jobs.
The US recently also implemented initiatives such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Western Climate Initiative and the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Accord, which have all been designed to establish that country’s first mandatory, market-based solution to reduce GHG emissions.
To assist companies in designing their own carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction methods, software developer AspenTech, which has a presence in 25 countries, has been developing software to optimise process manufacturing. This includes the oil and gas, petro- leum, chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries, as well as other industries that manufacture and produce products using chemical processes.
The company’s aspenONE CO2 capture models software is being used by various international companies, governments and institutions in an attempt at curbing global warming.
“By using the aspenONE CO2 capture simulation software, we are able to identify and analyse new ways to reduce the parasitic energy loads and costs associated with CO2 native technologies for driving down CO2 emissions while supporting the broader issues of energy security and energy costs,” says Massachusetts Institute of Technology energy initiative research programme executive director Randall Field.
The CO2 capture models within the aspenONE process engineering software are structured to support government reduction mandate requirements and clean-energy development.