Climate change has been discussed by experts since the 1980’s and as the crisis continues to escalate, more country leaders are becoming aware of the issue. Some are establishing laws, funds, and creating technologies, to prevent the planet from overheating before it is too late (e.g. nations that signed the Paris agreement). However, there are three developed countries in particular, that have a lower carbon footprint and a high aspiration to reduce their impact on the environment and their plan to do so.
To begin, Sweden is one of the worlds’ eco-friendly countries. The country is known for their contributions to ecology-friendly technology and their low carbon footprint of 4.03 per capita, according to the magazine: Environmental Leader. In addition, Sweden is created a Climate Policy Counsel and banned the extraction of oil, coal, as well as natural gas. The country has also made a goal to reduce emissions from domestic transportation by 30% by the year 2030. Not to mention that the nation’s greenhouse emissions have already lowered by 30% since 1990 and the country plans to have zero emissions by 2045. With such progress Sweden is a great example of a nation that strives for balance of the planet and its people.
Singapore produces 7.78 t of GH emissions per capita however, they are planning to reduce them by 36% in the year 2030 compared to what they were in 2005 (8.5t per capita). To achieve their goal, the country plans to develop low carbon and energy efficient technology, reduce CO2 from power stations, and make 80% of the county’s buildings meet the Green Mark standard. So far developers have created a system that uses up 30% less energy to cool the city than the technology that was used prior and they are making many more. As Singapore continues to enhance their inventions and technologies, it is becoming more eco-friendly and getting closer to their goal.
Lastly comes Germany produces 7.7 t of GH emissions per capita, but it is working on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030 compared to their number in 1990 of 13.3 tons per capita. Their Climate Action Plan focuses on moving towards a Climate friendly industry to keep a good economy that lives in balance with nature. In fact, it has started this project and in 2015, 330,000 jobs were provided in the renewable energy sector. Due to ideas and actions such as these, Germany has already reduced its Greenhouse gas emissions by 27.9 per cent. In addition, they are focusing on funding other countries’ fight against climate change by creating plans and projects. For example, Germany is working towards building sustainable energy sources (e.g. wave energy) in the Philippines. Therefore, Germany is not only converting itself to an eco-friendly future but other countries as well.
Acknowledging that there are nations that are working towards a low carbon future, makes it easier to believe that others can do the same. Large countries such as Canada, the United States, or Australia must strive to do the same, especially when they are huge emitters of CO2 and other green house gasses. As citizens of these nations, we must demand our government to invest in similar ideas and make plans for a future that will emit a small dosage of greenhouse gases.
About the author: Kristina is a student in Toronto and is passionate about informing the public on technology, and effects of climate change.