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Engineering LibreTexts

23.1: Background

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  • Many proposals for reducing global carbon emissions involve doing one or more of the following…

    • Reducing carbon emissions from energy production.
    • Increasing the efficiency of energy consumption to reduce the amount of energy that needs to be produced to do the work we require.
    • Sequestration – Removing carbon from the atmosphere or removing it before it enters the atmosphere.

    As a general rule of thumb, organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Rocky Mountain Institute recommend that to achieve the Paris target we need to be pursuing all three efforts simultaneously. Of course, any strategy we propose in pursuing them comes with trade-offs. The trick in reducing global carbon emissions will be to select a mix of strategies that will create the most equitable, economical, and environmentally sustainable pathway possible.

    You will be exploring these concepts by creating your own “blueprint” for energy production and consumption from now until 2100. To do this you’ll need to 1) determine how to create sizable increases in global energy efficiency, 2) select a mix of energy resources to produce lower carbon emissions, and 3) select strategies for sequestering \(CO_{2}\).

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