Education plays a key role in carbon emissions. Use of papers, electricity, wood, private transport and computers are the key ways in which educational institutions contribute to increased carbon emissions.
Different approaches can be employed so as to reduce carbon emissions from institutions of earning. Such approaches may include use of solar energy as a substitute for electricity, green computing and use of public transport. Whereas these approaches may be effective, they could also have some disadvantages such as reduced face-face interaction and delays in transport.
In this study, we also focused on government initiatives for controlling carbon emissions in Australia and Saudi Arabia. Carbon pollution in Australia is growing swiftly. It is projected that it will augment by 22% between the years 2000 and 2020. Conversely, Saudi Arabia is the world’s prime oil maker and ranks at position 14, among countries with the highest rates of carbon emissions.
Utilization of petroleum goods represents the mass of the nation’s fossil-fuel CO2 productions. A remarkable aspect of the time cycle for Saudi Arabia is the emissions ensuing from flaring gas. During 1974, gas flickering was liable for 76% of Saudi Arabia’s fossil-fuel discharges (Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, n. d.).
Saudi Arabia was a chief protester at the international climate meeting in Copenhagen, where councils from over 190 nations we re trying to concur, on a new global initiative, to fight climate change. A number of environmental societies say that the oil-producing monster has long played an opposing role in climate change conferences. Saudi bureaucrats fear that decreasing g emissions will lessen oil exports and be disastrous for their nation.
Government Initiatives in Saudi Arabia and Australia
Both Australia and Saudi Arabia have vast emissions- rigorous economy, with far elevated emissions per capita as compared to most nations. Both countries agreed to sign the Kyoto Protocol on reducing carbon emissions. The Kyoto Protocol was an accord negotiated by several states in 1997.
The objectives of Kyoto were to see members jointly lessening the rates of carbon emissions by 5.2 percent before 2012. Again, at the 2010 forum in Cancun, and at the United Nations 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, both nations concurred to limit carbon effluence so that the standard worldwide temperature rise could be maintained lower than two degrees Celsius.
Despite the mutual commitment to the objectives of these agreements, Australia has achieved a larger share than Saudi Arabia. Australia persists to be vigorously involved in reducing carbon effluence and has constructed an inclusive plan to progress to a Clean Energy Future.
This Clean Energy Future plan will reduce emission by approximately 5%. This plan will also force investment, and aid in ensuring that Australia can participate and stay prosperous in prospect. The instigation of a carbon price will guarantee that pollution is decreased at the lowest rate for the nation.
Within the carbon price, approximately 500 of the prime polluters in Australia will give a tax to the Australian regime for each tonne of carbon effluence they emit (Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, n. d.). The government of Australia has, in addition, devoted to a long-term goal to reduce emission of carbon by 52% before 2020.
Fig 1 Adopted from (Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, n. d.).
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia is divergent to binding pledges in future climate conferences and supposes that just the industrialized states, which are devoted to reductions of carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, ought to have potential emissions goals (Yeo, 2011). Saudi Arabia deems that emerging nations ought to have intended and nonspecific obligations to carbon emissions. Saudi Arabia’s prime climate negotiator, Mohammed Al-Sabban, was quoted in an email to BBC News saying
“The differentiated responsibility between developed and developing countries was based on the historical responsibility of the developed countries, and has nothing to do with the new economic reality of some developing countries” (Black, 2011, November 24).
The country relies on oil and it thinks that switch to renewable energy sources would engross an irrational cost and would obstruct the sustained growth of the country. From the standpoint of Saudi Arabia, endeavors to resolve the climate concern ought not to be restricted to decreasing carbon dioxide emissions, but ought to include actions to acclimatize the change that may occur.
These reasons explain why Saudi Arabia has a lesser share in the reduction of carbon emissions than Australia. This is why carbon emissions have been on steady increase in Saudi Arabia, as the figure below demonstrates.
Fig 2 Adopted from (Yeo, 2011).
Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia has begun to develop public transportation, in order to lessen the carbon emission that is experienced during traffic jams. Furthermore, it has inspired companies, such as Aramco, to lessen the quantity of carbon emissions.
Education and how it Contributes to Carbon Emissions
Education can be defined as the course or act of obtaining and sharing information, increasing the capabilities of thinking critically and train an individual rationally for adult life. In the course of education, learners use books and papers, which are made from wood, for writing notes, completing assignments, as well as, taking exams. This implies that trees, which lead to decrease in oxygen and increase carbon emissions, are cut so as to obtain papers and wood.
The use of forests for papers and wood products adds to the immense deforestation of the globe. Forests eliminate and amass carbon dioxide from the air, and deforestation causes vast amounts of carbon discharge, in addition to, decreasing the quantity of carbon capture on the globe. Learners are also frequently ferried from and to their residential areas, as well as, their attached areas (Robin and Potter, 2005). In this course of transportation, huge quantities of fuels are burnt, thus resulting to carbon emission.
Furthermore, learners make use of electricity during their laboratory sections, as a source of light at night, in operating computers, and in printing their assignments (Robin and Potter, 2005). Coal burning power plants, which generate electricity, emits enormous quantities of carbon dioxide, thus increasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Studies reveal that 40% of U.S. carbon emissions are as a result of electricity generation, and coal burning is liable for 93% of releases from the industries supplying electricity.
Carbon Reduction Strategies in Education
Learners and instructors can make use of the solar systems as a source of light and power. Hence, numerous quantities of electricity will be saved, thus reducing the amount of coal burnt in the generation of electricity. Attempts to decrease the energy consumption related to private computers is usually called green computing.
Green computing is the act of making use of computing resources in a way that is sensitive to the surroundings. School administrators can employ multiple techniques to lessen energy use with private computers including power management of desktop computer systems, email and online lining (Thompson, 2009).
Power management aids to control the power provision to a desktop PC, so that it reduces the power utilization of the computer without interfering the quality and amount of the work completed. Users of PCs can, as well, make use of e-mail to decrease energy utilization through sending e-mail notes as a substitute for notes that are printed on paper.
Finally, Online learning alternatives by means of learning management methods and video/web conferencing can decrease the call for customary physical classrooms, whilst also lessening travel expenses and related utilization of energy (Robin and Potter, 2005; Thompson, 2009). Additionally, learners can be encouraged to use public transport rather than using their private vehicles to school. Hence, less electricity will be used, thus reducing the amount of coal burnt.
Analysis and valuation of Carbon Reduction Strategies
Power Management of Desktop Computer Systems
Computers and their components can be logged off or put into sleep mode when, not in operation. IT directors have recognized shutting down the machines when not being utilized, as a chief method, to decrease energy expenses (Hasimah and Rahman, 2007; Thompson, 2009). Another easy technique to reduce power consumption is to regulate the power management settings, which are accessible to PCs and systems.
Private users can, additionally, set monitor and PC controls of power-management, in order to covert them into low-energy sleep mode following a set time, for instance, after 13 minutes of idleness (Hasimah and Rahman, 2007). Furthermore, users can connect computers and devices to a power strip, which can be switched off after shutting the computer down, since computers and their devices utilize some energy even when switched off.
Users may add a note in color at the foot of their e-mails appealing that addressees save paper by thinking twice ahead of printing e-mails, to emphasize the non-use of papers (Thompson, 2009). However, individual habits and work approaches require review occasionally. For instance, a number of administrators have their subordinates print out all e-mails in order that they can examine and possibly answer back the mails.
Such habits are expensive in terms of printer ink, paper utilization and energy. In case e-mails have to be printed out, an appliance such as Green Print can aid avoid printing unnecessary papers (Thompson, 2009). To decrease their carbon footprints further by means of e-mail, schools can reflect on outsourcing e-mail to a web-based appliance such as Microsoft’s [email protected] or Google Gmail (Thompson, 2009).
An institution’s carbon footprint and energy costs can also be decreased by moving academic and administrative tasks online. Every institution must select the online scheme that best ensembles its operation and customs (Thompson, 2009). Learners can enroll in an online training seminar or college course, rather than driving to institutions for their classes, hence decreasing their carbon footprints (Robin and Potter, 2005). However, such online arrangements will decrease the level of face-face interactions.
Using personal vehicles for travel presents a twin problem, as it is among the largest contributors to CO2 discharges and outcomes in substantial costs. Online education also decreases the need for school utilities, with fewer classrooms required (Pribe, 2009, May 26). Also, less lighting, warming and air conditioning are required.
Additionally, customary face-to-face classrooms are apt to utilize a lot of paper for items such as course assignments and handouts. Online classes typically put most, if not all, subject communications in digital configuration. Rather than printing out and handing in their coursework, learners e-mail their teacher electronic paper or post assignments via an online course management structure.
Solar system involves the conversion of natural sunlight into usable energy. It is cheap and can reduce the consumption of electricity to a good extent. The use of solar energy will have an extremely pivotal role in limiting the rise in carbon emissions.
Use of public Transport
The idea of using public transport is a brilliant idea that might serve to reduce the high carbon and help protect the environment. However, it may inconvenience learners as they have to spend time waiting for such vehicles.
Education plays a significant role in carbon emissions. Learners use books and papers, which are made from wood, for writing notes, completing assignments, as well as, taking exams. This implies that trees, which lead to decrease in oxygen and increase carbon emissions, are cut so as to obtain papers and wood. Learners are also frequently ferried from and to their residential areas, as well as, their attached areas.
In this course of transportation, huge quantities of fuels are burnt, thus resulting to carbon emission. Furthermore, learners make use of electricity during their laboratory sections, as a source of light at night, in operating computers, and in printing their assignments. Coal burning power plants, which generate electricity, emits enormous quantities of carbon dioxide, thus increasing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Use of solar energy, public transport, E-mail, online learning, and power management, are easily achievable approaches to ensuring that schools reduce the volume of carbon emission that they cause.
Glossary of Writing Terms
Carbon emission: By products of burning fossil fuels
Carbon foot print: The quantity of greenhouse gas emissions Conference generated by an organization
Email: An electronic way of sending notes and messages
Fossil-fuels: Gas, coal and oil
Government initiatives: Steps that the government is taking
Green Computing: Using computers in a way that is environmental sensitive
PC: Desktop computers
Solar energy: A form of energy that is obtained from the sun
Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (n. d.) National targets. Accessed on 25th November 2011 from http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/reduce/national-targets.aspx
This is an article by the Australian Government Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. It highlights plans that Australia is taking so as to meet the national target of reducing carbon emissions by 2020. Some of the plans that are mentioned include the Clean Energy Future Plan and the Kyoto Protocol. The article also details the existence of carbon taxing in Australia.
This is a popular article that has well documented facts. Also, since the article is directly from the Department of Climate Change, it is reliable and non- prejudiced.
Black, R. (2011, November 24) UK calls for new legal climate deal by 2015. BBC News. Accessed on 25th November 2011 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15874995
This article gives details of the email written by Mohammed Al-Sabban, Saudi Arabia’s chief climate negotiator. He expresses concerns about the re-negotiation of the current UNFCCC convention in Saudi Arabia and other developing nations.
He feels that developing countries should not be forced to adhere to any international environmental accords, and instead, these nations should be left to adopt the accords willingly. The article is reliable as it comes from a globally recognized news anchor, BBC News, which details the actual quotations of the negotiator’s writings.
Hasimah, A. and Rahman, M. (2007) Energy savings through power management in the desktop computer. ELEKTRIKA, 9(2), 27-30
This Journal demonstrates the latent for energy savings through power management, through a case study on the energy utilization of a PC in the Laboratory of a Malysian university. The journal is extremely reliable as it derives its conclusions from the findings of computer engineers at the University. Both authors are lecturers at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. Hence, the journal is scholarly and extremely reliable.
Pribe, M.B. (2009, May 26) Is online learning better for the planet? National Wildlife Federation. Accessed on 25th November 2011 from http://www.nwf.org/campusEcology/climateedu/articleView.cfm?iArticleID=76
The article discusses online learning as a way of reducing carbon print. It analyses the findings of Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI) and the United Kingdom’s Open University Design Innovation Group (DIG) on environmental impacts of campus-based learning. The article also discusses the prevalence of online learning in U.S. schools.
The article is objective as it recommends further study on the findings of SEI and DIG. The author of the article is a staff at SEI and uses data from an environmental institute and a renown University in the article. Hence, the article is extremely reliable.
Robin, R. and Potter, S. (2005) Towards sustainable higher education: environmental impacts of campus-based and distance higher education systems. New York, Design Innovation Group
This book gives the findings of a study on environmental impacts of diverse approaches of offering higher education lessons. The study reveals that, through the utilization online learning courses, it is feasible to reduce the emissions involved in offering higher education extensively compared to traditional systems of learning in campus.
The article discusses how use of computers reduces the need for printing papers. This article is scholarly and reliable as it is written by a Professor of Design and Environment and Professor of Transport Strategy at The Open University. The findings of the report are also reliable as the data was collected from university students and different departments of OU offered advice on information.
Thompson, J. (2009) Three approaches to green computing on campus. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 3(32), 15-17
This journal discusses measures of energy cost savings, including online learning, power management and use of email. The article is extremely reliable and scholarly as the author is a professor at Buffalo State College. The article is, additionally, very appropriate for current use in most schools, which have the goal of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.
Yeo, T. (2011) Carbon emissions in Saudi Arabia and international agreement on climate change. New York, Oxford University Press
This book discusses the prevalence of carbon emissions and various international agreements regarding reduction of these emissions in Saudi Arabia. It details the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. This source is scholarly and reliable as it is up to date. The author of the book is a senior professor at a university in Los Angeles.