Impact of Greenhouse Gases

Greenhouse gas emissions are primarily linked to energy generation, such as the combustion of fossil fuels for energy generation and transportation. Approximately 63% of global warming is attributable to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, with the majority of CO2 emissions coming from the burning of fossil fuels. Methane is another greenhouse gas, and at more than 20 times the potency of carbon dioxide, it is ranked as a dangerous contributor to global warming. The largest source of man-made methane emissions in the World come from landfills, but methane is also emitted from coal mines, oil and gas operations, and agriculture.

Approximately 18% of global warming is due to methane emissions in the atmosphere. Methane emissions from landfills pose a significant danger because our growing amount of trash results in ever-increasing landfills, which continue to produce methane for decades, even long after they are capped and closed.

So what does this mean for the way that we conduct ourselves as global citizens? One answer is to conserve our energy use, which will decrease the demand for fossil fuels, thereby lowering emissions of carbon dioxide. Recycling and reducing our trash generation will reduce the amount of trash being dumped in landfills, preventing the production of methane from decomposing waste.

For the remaining waste that cannot be recycled, we need to ensure that it is handled in a way that provides minimal disturbance and maximum benefits to our world’s climate – that’s Waste to Energy (WtE).