By Cécilia Razafinirinamaharavo/Madagascar & Musa Muhammad Tanko/Nigeria
Graphics by Chee Siang Teoh/ATO-ClimatEducate Project
It is an attempt to draw the attention of public on the need to cut down on the individual emission. The need to be conscious of the well being of our environment. For there to be a significant shift in the greenhouse emission there must be need for an inclusive participation of all.
Zero Emissions Day is an idea that was conceived more than 20 years ago and has now a global annual event that motivate people around the world to take a break from using fossil fuels! This is the call to action focuses on “emissions “also known as “ZeDay “. It is a worldwide movement that aims at increase awareness on this finite resource and to encourage the use of renewable energy.
In 2008, the founder of ZeDay Ken Wallace launched a website calling for 21st September to be a day where no fossil fuels are consumed. The date was chosen partly because it is the autumnal equinox and days and nights are of equal length, and partly because it is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.
The UK was the world's first industrial scale CO2 emitter during its industrial revolution. Other regions like Latin America, Asia and Africa lately start contributing to global CO2 emission. Careful observation will tell you that US and Europe lead among the league of emitters. Also China's and India's rapid industrial growth is adding up to the current global emission with Africa lagging behind in the league of emitters.
United States alone stands at 399.38 billion tonnes of CO2. That is amounting to about 26% of the total global emission. Most nations across sub-saharan Africa, South America and South Asia have per capita emissions below five tonnes per person. Comparing this with the global north, the emissions are typically above five tonnes per person.
In 2014 it was believed that around half of global emissions were the result of electricity and heat production. Contribution from transport and manufacturing industries were believed to be around 20% while residential, commercial and public around 9%. Contribution from other sector is between 1 to 2%.
Several efforts were made in the past to see to the reduction of the greenhouse emission. Stable CO2 emission was observed between 2014 to 2017 but recent data from the Global Carbon Project reported a 2.7% increase in 2018. This is not encouraging.
However, there are other gasses constituting the GHG like nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). These are believed to be rising rapidly through agricultural, energy and industrial sources.
There are series of activities expected of those complying with the ZeDay, among which are:
Being aware of our consumption of fossil fuels is important. Energy derived from fossil fuels is the biggest contributor to air emissions. Man is his quest for better life is hurting the earth day in day out. Complying with ZeDay will afford the polluted earth a breath a fresh air. It will also send an important massage of sense of responsibility to all. We are all accomplice in the act of polluting the earth. Imagine the amount of harmful gases that will prevented from adding up to the already accumulated volume if we all decide not burn or emit for a single day.
What you can do?
Cécilia Razafinirinamaharavo is the current Director for Information & Research of ATO - ClimatEducate Project. She is currently is passionate about solid waste management and climate policy.
Musa Muhammad Tanko formerly served as Information Director for thee ATO - ClimatEducate Project Manager and Regional Manager for its Regional Hub in Africa. He also serves as a board adviser to the Alpha Team Organization.
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