Following our theory that perhaps the best route to reducing CO2 emissions is allowing people to develop and use expertise in different fields,
What kind of experts + fields would get there?
One of the most exciting areas, I think, is when a consumer facing company (such as Glaxo Smith Kline) sets itself goals to reduce its carbon footprint and understand it in depth. You have the drive, the capability, the funding, the power.
The continued drive to machinery efficiency is exciting, but limited in what it can achieve. We might make a car which is 10% more efficient in 10 years but not many people believe cars could be massively more efficient.
The realm of wind power has many experts – particularly in financial planning side of it – and in persuading the public to spend more money for wind power.
In the realm of policymaking, we have what sounds like regulation by stealth. My theory is that it is very hard for politicians to increase people’s fuel costs and stay elected, but they can (and do) make rules that new buildings must be more environmentally efficient.
Aviation is virtually impossible to solve. Airlines are in the business of persuading people to take more flights – which all means more CO2 emissions. Unless you curtain their business, which is very politically hard, airlines need to wait for hydrogen or (arguably) biofuel power to be low emission.
Transport emissions is a messy one. The biggest target for reducing CO2 emissions is long drives 15-40 miles – and it would be hard to persuade these drivers to get the train or bus, bearing in mind this usually means increased costs and lower flexibility. But many cities have successfully managed to reduce driving over shorter distances.
For the realm of industry, my best idea is to increase the labelling of where the carbon is. Perhaps one day everyone will calculate their own carbon footprint on an ongoing basis, and if you sell something to someone else, the embedded carbon emissions goes off your ledger onto theirs.
That’s the only way I can think of, of developing a sensible scheme for making it investable for manufacturers of (for example) chemicals, cement and steel to invest in carbon mitigation / carbon capture.