What Can Petroleum Industry Do to Slow Global Warming
Global warming can be associated with all sorts of adverse effects that have been faced by the society today. Global warming is the cause of ever emerging drought cases since it has resulted in rapid changes in climate. Global warming has caused a lot of adverse effects on the environment, and it has also affected the health of the population adversely. The accumulation of greenhouse gases has caused a lot of problems. The continuous burning of the fossil fuels represents a major cause of global warming. These include petroleum products as well as natural gas. These fuels produce a lot of carbon dioxide. When carbon dioxide is released together with other gases, they form a layer that inhibits heat release causing global warming. It is, therefore, undoubtable that the petroleum industry plays a very significant role in causing global warming. As a result, it is believed that the oil industry has a role to play in reducing the same. In this paper, there will be given a detailed account of how the oil industries can mitigate the problem of global warming.
At first, the oil industry should be at the forefront in adopting all the necessary strategies that can help in mitigating the problem of global warming. The various measures that they can take include the environmental assessment of the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by their activities. This will be an important step that will help the industries make clear decisions on the various measures that they will take. After realizing the amount of damage that they cause to the environment, they will be able to devise ways of curbing this problem. The same will acquaint to the oil companies on the adverse impacts that emanate from their excessive use of fossil fuels and thus they will be able to take measures (United Nations, 2014).
The oil industry can also play a role in reducing the environmental pollution if it develops strong commitment in relation to the matters of environmental pollution (United Nations, 2014). It should be committed to producing less carbon dioxide by taking measures that are aimed at addressing the same issues. For example, the oil industries can show their commitment towards reduction in carbon dioxide production by producing alternative sources of fuel. For example, these industries should aim at producing environmentally friendly gases such as biogas to replace the natural gas which produces a considerably high amount of carbon dioxide. In addition, the companies should also aim at providing an alternative fuel that can be used for vehicles (United Nations, 2014). Although this may take some time, it should be part of their long-term commitment to ensure that they engage in environmental protection practices. For example, these companies can aim at producing power alcohol as a substitute for super or petrol. This step would see a significant reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide produced and as a result, they will help reduce the amount of released gases that cause global warming (Mills, 2008).
The oil industry also produces a significant amount of carbon dioxide in the production of petroleum products. Furthermore, they also produce a lot of gas in the electric production that is used in their industries. As a commitment to reduce environmental pollution and global warming, these companies have to adopt measures to save on energy consumption in their industries. These industries should be champions of the green environment and, as a result, they should embrace the same in their industries. As proposed by shell, these industries can reduce the levels of carbon dioxide they produce by adopting alternative methods of energy in their industries. They can utilize solar power as an alternative to the fossil fuels in their industries. It is notable that these alternative sources of power are cost efficient and eco-friendly (United Nations, 2014) .
One of the primary sources of carbon dioxide is coal. Most of the oil-producing companies are also involved in coal mining. Coal is used in the production of electricity among other purposes. Coal is said to produce almost double quantity of carbon dioxide produced by natural gases. This factor should be an awakener to the oil industries so that they should embark on reducing the use of coal (Mills, 2008). They should aim at replacing coal with natural gas as a way of reducing the production of carbon dioxide. If the oil industries adopted this strategy, they would decrease the production of carbon dioxide produced by a significant proportion (Islam, 2012). In addition, their efforts to decrease the release of carbon dioxide should not just be limited to the provision of alternative fuels such as natural gas for coal. Their efforts should also be coupled with continuous innovation and improvement (United Nations, 2014).
It is believed that using natural gases can reduce carbon dioxide release to a significant proportion, but the benefits of the same are reduced by the leakages of the gases. Research indicates that a lot of natural gas leak during the process of production, as well as transportation (Islam, 2012). Methane is also associated with global warming. The oil industry should control methane (Hamilton, 1998). Efforts made to reduce global warming without taking into consideration the release of this gas are not fruitful. The oil industry can reduce global warming by improving the methods of transportation in an attempt to decrease the leakage of methane gas (Houghton, 2004). The oil industries have to understand how the leakage of natural gases waters down any effort to reduce global warming and thus they should dedicate their efforts towards ensuring that there is no leakage (Hamilton, 1998). Leading oil companies have indicated how fugitive methane gases can be prevented from leaking by applying modern technology.
The captured gas can also be resold to the market, and this will contribute to additional revenue. The oil companies should also unite with other players such as the heavy consumers of methane and develop mechanisms of how to reduce the release of this gas. Although some companies argue that the cost of the technologies is high, the benefits emanating from the technology are enormous. The methane control reduces the risk of explosions; they also protect human beings from harmful impacts and it also ensures environmental health (Investor Group on Climate Change, n.d.).
In addition, the oil industries can reduce global warming by ensuring that they apply the modern technology that saves on costs and energy. In this case, when they save on energy consumption, they directly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that they produce in their industries. The same is a significant step towards reducing the amount of gases that are produced by these manufacturers. The key aim that these companies should strive to achieve is saving on the energy used and waste produced in terms of carbon dioxide among other gases (Paultz, 2013).
On the other hand, the oil industries need to make a step towards adopting renewable energy. They should come up with ways of ensuring that they engage in renewable energy production that aims at lowering the amount of greenhouse gases produced (Paultz, 2013). Although this will take a long time, they should show long-term commitment towards this achievement. They should set up strategies on how they are going to achieve this in the future and save the world from global warming.
The oil industries should also establish policies that will guide the process of policy formulation throughout the whole process (Islam, 2012). They should develop policies aimed at ensuring that environmental suitability issues are given the necessary attention in all the undertakings of the company. These policies should emphasize the key areas that produce greenhouse gases, and they should be very keen in ensuring that these policies are adhered. For example, in the case of shell, it should aim at ensuring that all the policies that they have set in regard to preventing global warming are put in place (Islam, 2012).
Finally, the oil industry should also collaborate with other key players so that they can get an idea on how to minimize the problem of global warming. In this case, they should work hand in hand with governments and other organizations that deal with environmental matters so that they can actually reduce the production of greenhouse gases. Complying with the set rules regarding the issue of global warming should also be a step forward in an attempt to reduce global warming (Hamilton, 1998).
In conclusion, the oil industry is to blame for the growing problem of global warming. They contribute to the highest amount of greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming. These industries have to take a number of measures so that they can resolve the issue of global warming. Adopting alternative sources of energy is one of the key areas to be addressed. They should take a step forward in reducing the amount of methane gas that they release into the environment (Islam, 2012). Adoption of modern technology to control methane is a step forward towards the reduction of global warming. These industries should also engage in long-term plans that are aimed at saving on fuel consumption.