CO2 emissions, we talk about it a lot, we hear them increase, from the media, not with the sense of smell, we fear them. But do you know them? Perhaps not enough, let's try to approach them with caution and curiosity, step by step and not by the screamed alarms. From a, b, c .. indeed, from CO2.
CO2 emissions: what they are
The CO2 emissions they are emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that, during combustion processes, is formed thanks to the union of carbon, contained in fuels, with 2 oxygen atoms, an element present in the air. Carbon, "single" and 2 "oxygen", here is the chemical formula CO2.
Nothing bad so far, but it is the excess of CO2 emissions which causes environmental damage because it threatens a gaseous layer present in the atmosphere that protects the earth from the harmful action of ultraviolet UV-C rays coming from the sun. We know it as Ozone, perhaps more for the ozone hole, what should not be made huge.
Too many CO2 emissions are also one of the causes of global warming ("Global warming"). If under normal conditions the surface of the Earth accumulates the heat of the sun during the day and then disperses it into space at night, as if it were breathing, theexcess emissions they create a "hood" effect that suffocates our Earth by changing the climate and temperatures.
A tantalizing hint discussed the origins of the CO2 emissions: they are partly produced by human activities. To produce energy in many developed countries, the combustion of fossil fuels is used, for example, as on the other hand deforestation reduces the absorption of CO2 emissions therefore it does not play in favor of the environment. We ourselves, in our small way, emit CO2, certainly not compromising the environmental balance, and in the same way many of our small gestures increase the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.
A shower is worth 1 kg of CO2, 10 km by car (petrol) is equivalent to about 2 kg of CO2 emissions, heating an apartment of 60 square meters contributes with an amount equal to 20 kg per day. For the theory of many small drops, let's try to pay more attention to ours daily gestures, certainly without ceasing to wash, move and warm up.
CO2 emissions in Italy
The CO2 emissions in Italy they have been decreasing in recent years: data for 2014 speak of 25-30 MtCo2eq less than in 2013, a cut of 6-7%. To get an idea of what we have experienced, the approximately 410 million tons of Co2eq that we measure today CO2 emissions they are 20% less than in 1990, and even less than the 2005 data, a year to be canceled as regards carbon dioxide in Italy.
In part, the decline can be explained by the economic crisis that has reduced, willy-nilly, some very active activities in the production of CO2 emissions, but also the orientation of the economies in the last 10 years has changed and GDP is no longer so tied to activities with high emissions. If so, we can expect an economic recovery in the future but not CO2 emissions . We'll see!
CO2 emissions in Europe
Even the European CO2 emissions they decreased by 5% between 2014 and 2013. Less than in Italy, we are in fact the sixth country in terms of greenhouse gas reduction of the whole continent. Our good performance matches that of many other states, almost all of them except Cyprus, Malta, Lithuania, Finland and Sweden who have not seen their own descend CO2 emissions.
The worst in Europe however was Bulgaria. Data released in 2015 show a 23% drop at European level between 1990 and 2014 in carbon dioxide emissions, the target is -24% by 2020, which becomes -25% with the additional measures envisaged by the Member States.
Without wishing to extinguish enthusiasm, but looking at the data it must be taken into account that Europe often "delocalizes" them CO2 emissions, moreover, the crisis that we all hope will end is also playing a role in the 1990 - 2014 data. By restarting the economy of the continent, a little virtuous process in CO2 must not be restarted.
CO2 emissions in the world
Thinking about emissions in the world, the eye and concerns fall on emerging countries such as China, all "launched" on exports and where a quarter of CO2 emissions "State" comes from the production of goods destined for abroad, including Italy.
China is not the only one with this mechanism, also because - from the data provided by the Carnegie Institution for Science - over a third of emissions related to the consumption of goods and services in rich countries occur outside their borders. It is the relocation of CO2 emissions of which we have already mentioned. Thinking on a global scale, the knots come to a head, which is why when you think about the strategy to slow down the global warming, it is necessary to do this worldwide.
Car CO2 emissions
In the 2015 edition of the Guide to fuel saving and CO2 emissions you can read the data on fuel consumption and respective carbon dioxide emissions for each car model for sale.
In the ranking of models with minors CO2 emissions Models with LPG or methane are also appearing, for those with hybrid propulsion, divided between petrol and diesel, or with "plug-in" technology, there are separate classifications, ditto for fully electric cars.
Going to the data, coming from theEuropean Environment Agency, we can consider those of the weighted average of CO2 emissions of cars registered in Italy: there is a constant decline and already in 2011 the target of 130 g / km set as a target by the European Union for 2015 was reached.
In 2014 we even dropped to 118.2 g / km: we can hope for the auto sector, and be among the registrars of the greener models. In the present and future landscape, significant technological advances can be seen in hybrid propulsion and a general increase in low-emission models made by a dozen car manufacturers: the commitment to CO2 emissions it is also the object of competition, virtuous competition and all for the benefit of us and the planet.
Truck CO2 emissions
Already in 2009 there was talk of the European Commission's intention to create a plan to reduce limits CO2 emissions also for commercial and industrial vehicles. Now this limit is in effect and is 175 g / km, for i light commercial vehicles registered in the EU from January 2014 onwards.
An advance of what will be in force from 2020: 147 g / Km with modulated penalties for non-compliant manufacturers, who did not like the measure at all, given that before it the most efficient models emitted just under 240-250 g / km. The new limit has entailed and will entail a considerable additional cost for the sector.
Airplane CO2 emissions
The aeronautical sector recorded 700 million tons of CO2 emissions on a global level in 2013, fortunately by 2050 many developed countries are aiming to cut their emissions by 80%, also because the pollution generated by aircraft is destined to triple.
It was also talked about during the Paris climate agreement, because such numbers when it comes to global and long-term strategies cannot go unnoticed. From an examination on the energy efficiency of 20 airlines that fly between Europe and the US or Canada, carried out in 2014, CO2 emissions averages of one ton per passenger.
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