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    What is Green Tech and how it can help us tackle climate change?

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    What is Green Tech?

    As our emissions increase rapidly and our planet is a risk of collapse, the need for sustainable solutions to fight climate change becomes crucial. It’s no secret that technology has adversely impacted the environment in many ways, but at the same time, it can offer solutions to make the world a little — or a lot — greener [1].

    Short for “green technology” and often used interchangeably with the term cleantech, green tech is an umbrella term that refers to those companies, projects and technologies involved in improving environmental sustainability [2] .“Green technology” is a concept that appeared in the 1970s, together with renewable energy, a criterion of “naturalness”, used to designate technologies that are neutral for the environment, non-polluting, non-carbonated, possibly recyclable, energy and non-renewable resource efficient. [3]

    Why is it important?

    Much of the growth in such sectors is being driven by a significant international push towards achieving a clean global economy. With human, environmental and economic damage being more transparently observed as a direct result of climate-related changes, recent years have seen something approaching a critical mass of people applying pressure to fight global warming, not the least since the signing of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which commits almost every nation on the planet to limit their carbon emissions. With the world’s biggest economic jurisdictions now increasingly on board with achieving such goals—the United States, the European Union and China all included—global awareness of environmental problems is more heightened than ever [4].

    With regard to green entrepreneurship, an increasing number of green-tech ventures have been launched in response to various environmental challenges such as carbon emissions, environmental pollution, and climate change [5]. Low-carbon technologies including electric vehicles (EVs), renewable energy arrays and innovative new fuels could help the world reduce carbon emissions, new research from ING has found.

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    During a recent research project entitled “technology – the climate saviour?” the Dutch bank undertook analysis exploring the potential impact of green technologies being installed at scale across seven sectors between 2019 and 2050 – namely power, heavy industry, real estate, light-duty vehicles (LDVs), trucks, shipping and aviation. They estimated that the deployment of green technologies across these sectors could help reduce 64% of global energy emissions by 2050, but we need effective policies to avoid rebound effects.

    Is Green Tech Enough?

    Although emissions ticked lower under lockdowns, the experience showed that the world would need much bigger interventions to bend the curve on climate change. With the many tailwinds propelling clean tech, there’s now many areas where companies are working to improve the planet. As many of these industries gain traction, investors highlight a few hot sectors that should only get bigger in the coming years, including energy, hydrogen, transport, and agriculture. [6]

    Whether you call it green technology, clean technology, or cleantech, many recognize that the need for changing how we manage our resources is growing. The future is written in our growing population, growing climate change, and growing demand for energy. Strong technological progress can help to make the climate transition less painful economically. We need better technology—clean technology—that helps us maintain our resources and our population.  However, the scale and criticality of the environmental crisis means that we need to question not only our technological functions, but also our modes of production and consumption, and the lifespan of our technical resources as objects of daily life, as well as our scales of development and growth regimes.[7]

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