Problems That Business Operations Cause to Climate
Climate change is an abnormal change in the average or long-term weather trends in a specific region or the whole Earth and its impacts on the Earth. There are many causes of climate change, such as natural factors like volcano activity, human factors like the cutting down trees, which increase greenhouse gas concentrations. Research shows that human activities mainly contribute to climate change. Climate change causes the temperatures in our planet to increase, leading to the melting of ice caps in the Arctic and rising sea levels, and even changing the rainfall patterns (Demertzidis et al., 2015). It also leads to extreme climate events such as cyclones and hurricanes. If there is a long-term climate change, it can lead to droughts, floods, and increased salt levels in the soils, affecting the supply of water, food production, and animal rearing, which is a result causes poverty.
Climate change can cause displacement of people when there is a scarcity of food and water. Research shows that an average of 27 million people are displaced every year due to climate change, where almost 80% of these people are women. This essay will discuss the problems that business operations impose on the atmosphere leading to climate change and the solutions that can be implemented to help reduce climate changes. Daily business operations such as burning fossil fuels for energy releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere leading to global warming and climate change. Also, cutting down trees to produce papers leads to climate change because there is a buildup of carbon dioxide since there are no trees to absorb it. It helps discover how daily business activities contribute to climate change and the measures we can follow to ensure no significant climate change.
Climate change problem
Business operations are increasingly influencing climate change and Earth’s temperature through the burning of fossil fuels. This adds significant amount of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere leading to the greenhouse effect and global warming. Greenhouse gases trap heat and make Earth warmer. The transport sector is the most significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions by burning fossil fuels for trucks, cars, planes and ships. About 90% of the fuel used in transportation is usually petroleum-based (Franks et al., 2014). This releases carbon dioxide pollution into the atmosphere. The business of producing electricity produces the second-largest portion of greenhouse gas discharges. This is because 74% of electricity is generated by burning coal and 14% from burning gas which causes carbon pollution. In the industry sector, greenhouse gas releases come from burning fossil fuels for energy and the different chemical reactions necessary for producing certain goods from raw materials.
Besides, when trees are cut for organizational development or to sell the tree products such as timber and palm oil and paper production contribute to global warming because there are no trees to absorb carbon dioxide, one of the most significant greenhouse gases (“Australia’s emissions still rising, says report withheld in defiance of Senate order,” 2019). Also, when trees are burned for energy, they contribute to the greenhouse effect. This is because trees are made up of 50% carbon, and when burned, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These harmful emissions due to business operations lead to global warming, which has severe consequences due to climate change. It leads to a decrease in food production or increased temperature, affecting human life (Mason, & Mason, 2012). With an increase in global temperatures, ice caps melt, causing sea levels to rise worldwide. Although we cannot avoid some global warming levels caused by greenhouse gases that trap heat already in the atmosphere, when we adopt aggressive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this can help avoid worse climate change and lead to a better world.
Solution 1: Use of renewable energy
To reduce the global warming problem that leads to climate change. Policymakers should develop measures that business operators and people need to follow to ensure a global warming-free climate and reduce the future adverse effects of climate change due to the global warming problem. The first way to prevent global warming is by implementing renewable energy (Australian Government, 2015). Businesses should stop using energy produced from fossil fuels burning and start using renewable energies like solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy in their daily operations. Renewable energy has significant benefits to businesses compared to energy from burning fossil fuels. Some benefits are; renewable energy is a more secure energy supply since businesses will not depend on imported energy because it is naturally occurring energy. Also, renewable energy generates energy that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions and reduces air pollution (Agreement, 2015). Besides, the investment of renewable energy in the manufacturing sites benefits customers by reducing chain emissions. If this policy is implemented, it can ensure no buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, leading to global warming.
Solution 2: Advocating against deforestation
Additionally, cutting trees for either timber or burning to get energy leads to releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing global warming. Policymakers can come up with a measure of advocating against deforestation and planting trees. Planting more trees will curb climate change (Demertzidis et al., 2015). Apart from trees trapping and storing carbon dioxide, they also affect the atmospheric chemistry, rainfall patterns, and wind speed. Business operations significantly contribute to deforestation by using tree products such as palm oil in their daily operations. Businesses should adhere to the policy of reducing deforestation (“Australia’s emissions still rising, says report withheld in defiance of Senate order,” 2019). For example, the European Union has limited and eventually has phased out palm oil in transport fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent tree cutting since palm oil is a by-product of trees (Agreement, 2015). Companies should become advocates for policies against tree cutting. This is through offering and advocating for incentives that reward sustainable production and tree protection. They can position themselves as agents of campaigning tree protection to stop deforestation and reduce the problem of global climate change (Demertzidis et al., 2015).
Businesses should also set ambitious goals to maximize recycled wood, paper, and fiber to produce their products. They should make sure that any fresh fiber product they use has the credible assurance that it has been sourced in a legal way that follows environmental and social responsibility principles (Zhang et al., 2018). Besides, they can help reduce deforestation by introducing and implementing zero deforestation policies that clean up their supply chains. This will be achieved by holding their suppliers accountable for producing products like timber, palm oil, and paper that do not lead to deforestation and have a very minute impact on the climate. Adhering to these policies will ensure that there is no adverse global climate change caused by deforestation. And in a result, there will be a good climate which will favor businesses.
Solution 3: Encourage use of electric vehicles
Besides, regulators to come up with a plan to encourage the use of electric vehicles. Since most of the vehicles use fuel obtained from burning fossil fuels to get petroleum. They significantly contribute to global warming due to the emission of carbon dioxide gas which result causes climate change. Therefore, there should be a plan of electrifying the transport sector as much as possible to speed up energy transitioning from petroleum fuel energy to electrical energy. They should encourage the use of electric vehicles that are charged by renewable energy such as solar (Zhang et al., 2018). This dramatically minimizes emissions of greenhouse gases. Also, reduced driving of either electric vehicles or convectional vehicles can help in lowering emissions. Actions like sharing rides using public transport, using bicycles, and walking can help solve climate change (Demertzidis et al., 2015). However, for the vehicle trips that we cannot avoid, using an electric vehicle will make a big difference in the number of global warming emissions we produce, and this is one of the most incredible actions that we can take to reduce the problem of global climate change. Businesses adopting the use of electric vehicles apart from reducing global warming gases will also benefit. Although electric vehicles are expensive to purchase, they are much cheaper to run than combustion vehicles, which benefit businesses. They are also simpler to maintain (Zhang et al., 2018). This is because they do not have starter motors, complex exhaust systems, and injection systems which cost a lot when repairing and servicing. Thus, adopting electric vehicles will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce global climate change, and benefit businesses significantly.
In conclusion, business operations can significantly contribute to climate change through global warming, primarily caused by greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. To reduce the global warming problem caused by business operations, regulators can develop solutions that help curb the problem. The solutions are the adoption of renewable energy, advocating against deforestation and planting more trees, and encouraging electric vehicles. Adopting these measures will reduce the adverse effects of climate change, like changes in rainfall patterns, leading to low food production and displacement of people due to drought and even lack of water. A good climate will greatly benefit since there is clean air for breathing and adequate rainfall, hence adequate food production. Although these measures have a positive impact on the climate, they have some limitations. For example, purchasing electric vehicles is very expensive, and most people are unable to purchase them. Also, renewable energy can be unreliable, takes a lot of space to install, and has expensive storage costs. Nevertheless, since these measures help reduce global climate change, the government should be at the forefront of applying them to encourage people to adopt them. Also, businesses should adopt these measures to ensure there is no pollution in the atmosphere, thus avoiding the risks such as physical risks associated with global climate change.