Violent storms, massive flood, prolonged drought and heavy precipitation are the disastrous events that are presently occurred in Malaysia. Malaysia is one of the countries that are facing the impact of climate change.
The rapid increased of carbon footprint has worsened the impact climate change. Climate change is a serious high priority global issue that needs immediate proactive action from every each of us. The emission and concentration of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases is affecting the increase in temperature, and thus leading to global warming. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas that is contributing to recent climate change. CO2 is absorbed and emitted naturally as part of the carbon cycle and anthropogenic activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use will release large amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides “have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.
Majority worldwide believe that
human activities are a significant cause of climate change. Large part of our life required us to burn the fossil fuels for our sustaining life purposes such as to operate vehicles, to use home appliances and to produce foods. The world's population produces 16 million tonnes of carbon emissions every 24 hours. Meanwhile according to Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, United States, Malaysia produced 8 metric tons per capita of CO2 emissions in 2014.
The impact of climate change might get worse day by day if we could not control the carbon dioxide emissions. The simplest measure we could do to reduce the impact of climate change is by start measuring of our carbon footprint in daily activities such as using electricity, driving a car, or disposing of waste. Carbon footprint is different depending on the location, habits, and personal choices.
There are many ways to reduce our carbon footprint. For instance, carpooling or taking public transport can actually lower our carbon footprint. According to rideshare.com, every car annually emits its own weight in carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carpooling reduces your transportation emissions number in half, or even better. Air travel contributes to almost a quarter of the average person’s annual emissions. The easiest way to make a big difference is to go by train or not take as many flights. Apart from that, the distance we travel is also matters. Referring to The Guardian article, reducing the mileage of the average new car from 15,000 to 10,000 miles a year will save more than a tonne of CO2, about 15% of the average person’s footprint.
Besides, using energy efficient appliances or saves energy usage are also able to lower our carbon footprint as most of the carbon dioxide emissions are mostly from energy sector. Most of the home appliances nowadays are truly depends on the electricity to function. The energy demand from the consumers is increased yearly due to the current trend of home appliances usage.
Apart from that, we could also reduce carbon footprint by being mindful in food consumption. For instance, approximately 13% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions resulted from the production and transport of food. Thus, it is advisable to buy local and eat a more diversified diet including less meat and dairy to reduce your carbon emissions resulting from the use of fossil fuel-based fertilizers, pesticides, and gas required to produce and transport of the food you eat.
The impact of climate change could be reduced by lowering our daily carbon footprint. Climate change should not be a neglected issue and any measure to address the climate change impact should be seriously taken by all related agencies and stakeholders. In conjunction with World Earth Day 22nd April, measure your carbon footprint to reduce climate change impact.
Nur Imani binti Abdullah
Forum Air Malaysia