ENERGY ENGINEERING

Greenhouse gas emissions and the associated effect on the world’s climate are now not only common knowledge, but the subject of furious debate at all levels of Government across the globe. Various treaties have been signed by many countries, with some well-publicized abstainers, in an effort to cut emissions. Almost every day, high profile media reports update us all on the issues involved, constantly reminding us that our thirst for energy cannot continue unchecked.

There is now no denying that the combustion of fossil fuels and subsequent release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, is leading to an increase in mean global temperatures. As such, individuals and organizations alike are being actively encouraged to play their part in reducing energy consumption in a bid to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Many large organisations that operate within countries committed to the Kyoto agreement are now required to participate in the Carbon Trading Scheme. Failure to meet targets results in a requirement to purchase CO2 allowances that can be freely traded across the borders of any participating country. By making carbon dioxide a commodity, it is expected that market forces will persuade large organisations to reduce emissions in order to remain competitive. Smaller companies may be penalised in other ways by the application of additional taxes on energy supplies.

For companies, the ability to demonstrate not only awareness, but also definitive action, is becoming increasingly important. Businesses are not only trying to set themselves apart from the competition with product quality, but their environmental credentials are becoming decisive factors in addition.