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Low carbon society

Department of Environmetal Qulity Promotion

Department of Environmetal Qulity Promotion

Low carbon society

Low carbon’ definition

‘Low carbon’ – carbon is referred to the carbon dioxide equivalent – is defined as global GHG emissions pathways which maintain GHG concentration in the atmosphere at levels recognized not to be ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

 

Low Carbon Society (LCS) is a society where people are (mostly) collaborating to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions in any forms or in various activities emitting from daily life and from production process of the factory or industry. In order to live together in a society with a better quality of life, LCS is the pathway to encourage people to have the quality of life in society caused by the environment with lower carbon content and the people in society is closely linked with the technology application or development, which is environmentally friendly. Importantly, it is the must to be a society with urban planning in line with the ecological balance, so a low carbon society looks like this (Figure below):

  1. Society to help reduction of energy demand;
  2. Society to avoid using fossil fuels or oils, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
  3. Society must have measures of energy security and require the public participation to discuss the needs of all people groups.

In addition to the all cooperation of GHG reduction, the management by Area based approach is also important by focusing on the city which set the goal of GHG reduction from the former that never have GHG emission management system. Presently, the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is above 400 ppmv and trend to increase. Therefore, as the target to do not rise the global temperature more than 2 ◦C, the concentration of GHG must not exceed than 450 ppm CO2e.

Global Emission Pathway; Picture Source: Dhar, S., Pathak, M., & Shukla P.R., 2013

 

Generally, the concept of a low carbon society defines actions that are compatible with the principles of sustainable development allowing for deep emissions cuts using low carbon energy sources and technologies, at high levels of energy efficiencies, without imposing any cost to the developing needs.

Low carbon Society in Thailand, Picture Source: ERM-Siam Co., Ltd

 

Smart Energy Consumption City

The United Nations estimates that already over 50% of the global population lives in cities. Cities occupy only 2% of the Earth’s surface but are the point of use of 75% of all resources required for everyday life and generate 75% of all waste [4]. Crucially, they produce 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Energy use is responsible for approximately 75% of these emissions, and 30-40% of that energy is used in buildings [5]. Sustainable future of the civilization depends to a great extent on changes in patterns of energy use and supply in cities.

Taking all this into account, for a city to become a smart energy city, it needs to evolve and address a multitude of technological and economic challenges in providing energy for basic needs of their citizens. A smart energy city satisfies all energy needs of its citizens and goes beyond to provide innovative ways to increase the quality of life of its citizens in all areas. This is achieved by:

  • Achieving the highest energy efficiency standards;
  • Relying on local resources to provide for energy needs;
  • Making all energy users active members of the local energy system;
  • Developing smart homes and smart grids for demand management;
  • Promoting Electromobility;
  • Using information to make insightful decisions on energy purchases or generation;
  • Getting foresight to resolve problems proactively;
  • Efficiently coordinating resources for effective operation of infrastructure systems.

 

Policies and practices for a low-carbon society:

There are clear inferences to be drawn from these conclusions in terms of policy. If low-carbon societies are to be achieved, action is needed in the following areas:

  • Long-term goals to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% of 1990 levels by 2050 are required.
  • Long-term policy signals to strengthen carbon pricing, e.g. through taxation and enhanced international emissions trading, should be established to create appropriate incentives for business.
  • It would help if tax burdens were shifted away from income and employment towards environmental pollution in order to internalize the cost of CO2 emissions and encourage businesses and individuals to reduce emissions.
  • The focus of development investment in developing countries should be shifted towards lower-carbon approaches.
  • There needs to be a step change in the transfer of low-carbon technologies to developing countries. This can be achieved by expanding financial flows and developing new financing mechanisms.
  • Trade regimes should be adjusted to encourage rapid deployment of technologies and products that enhance sustainable development while lowering CO2 emissions.
  • Energy efficiency improvement should be accelerated, using incentives that encourage institutional and behavioral change.
  • The demonstration and deployment of near commercial technologies, such as carbon capture and storage is required, as is significantly increased investment in R&D for technologies with greater promise in the long term.
  • Policies and frameworks should be implemented which enable a change in human behavior and lifestyle, by removing high-carbon choices and providing consumers with the opportunity to benefit from low-carbon approaches.

 

Sources:

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