A-level Graphic Products/Edexcel/Unit 3 :Designing for the Future/Sustainability/Responsibilities of developed countries
Global sustainable development
Aims of Developing countries versus Developed countries
The general aim for developed countries (wealthy countries like the UK, USA, Germany etc.) at the minute (in terms of the environment) is to try and reduce the amount of scarce resources used and the amount of pollution created; this is known as reducing your carbon footprint.
The general aim for developing countries (poor countries like India, China etc.) is to consume more, their aim is to make their countries have cleaner water, electricity and health care. Developing countries will achieve this by having access to markets in developed countries.
United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) & World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
At the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), representatives for countries can discuss how they can improve their environmental impact. Most countries have established with the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), some what of a focal point on the oversea implementation of the Earth Summit Agreements e.g. global trade or the reduction of greenhouse emissions.
For this system to work two steps need to happen:
- Agree the terms and conditions
- Implementing the changes that are needed.
Impact of industrialisation on global warming and climate change
The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialized countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The protocol sets targets for the reduction of greenhouses gases by certain percents between given dates.
The treat was founded in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 and came into force in 2005 thanks to Russia. As of 2006, 169 countries signed up for the agreement. Developing countries didn't need to participate as they had developing needs.
Notability, America didn't agree sign up for the Kyoto protocol, however they agree with the principles, but just didn't want to take part.
Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO)
This was founded in the UK in 1989; its goal was to cut down on the consumption of fossil fuels; to use nuclear or renewable sources instead.
One obligation of NFFO for electricity suppliers is for them to have 10% of their power being sourced from renewable sources by 2010; raised to 15% by 2015.
Aims of NFFO:
- To help encourage renewable energy sources.
- Provides financial support to renewable energy projects.
- Government involvement in these targets.
- Electricity distribution companies need to buy a certain amount from renewable sources.
- Aim to reduce need for fossil fuels.
- Aids development in renewable sources projects.
Reducing your 'carbon footprint'
A 'carbon footprint' is a metaphor for the measure of a human's impact on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of CO2. This is the result of greenhouse gases produced from industrialisation and modern living which has a negative impact on the environment.
Generally, you could categorise a carbon footprint into two categories:
- Impact caused by house hold living, electricity and gas use etc.
- A way to fix this type of carbon foot print would be to turn off light/appliances when they're not in use.
- Impact caused by travel, public transport and planes etc.
- A way to fix this type of carbon footprint would be to not use public transport and use an eco-friendly alternative like walking or cycling.
Carbon offsetting is way to compensate the unavoidable bad things we do to the environment by improving other unrelated process and making them more eco-friendly. Another definition would be: A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere.
Methods for manufacturers to fix their non-eco-friendly ways
- Applying life-cycle assessment (LCA) techniques to get just enough products, not too much that would otherwise use more fuel and create more bad emissions.
- Identifying the problems in a certain manufacturing process.
- Optimising energy efficiency.
- Identifying carbon offsetting solutions.
Sustainable timber production
Majority of timber is imported into the UK from developing countries, these developing countries benefit a little from this.
- Deforestation The general cutting down of trees
- Environmental impact of deforestation:
- Micro-climate changes/Global warming
- Loss of wildlife/extinction
- Food chain reduced
- More CO2 in the atmosphere
- When trees are burnt, CO2 is released
- Increased greenhouse gases
- Ground erosion/landslides
- Heavy machinery causes pollution
- Rising sea levels
- Environmental degradation of forest areas soil erosion, micro-climate change, air pollution leads to reducing the forest's health.
- Loss of biodiversity The killing off of species.
- Loss of cultural assets and knowledge native/tribal people that live in the forests having their home destroyed.
- Loss of livelihood Forests getting cut down to make space for cities.
- Climate change Trees help balance out the CO2 levels, the more trees the less harmful CO2.
Benefits on changing the way that we get timber
- No longer importing from sources that involve deforestation.
- Moving to suppliers of large areas of ecological surplus, e.g. high-yield plantations of countries like: Brazil, Chile and New Zealand.
- Certification systems that ensure that the trees that are cut down are replaced with tree saplings.
- Timber tracing used to identify the timber has good from a certified place.
- Improves the aid process for poor communities involved in current deforestation methods.