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Next industrial age

The next 10-15 years are crucial for the tyre and automotive industry. The shape of things to come is more or less accurately predictable based on current trends.

KS Nair

KS Nair

The automotive industry is on the cusp of major changes. It is set to see a civilisational shift as it sharply focuses on greener technologies. Cutting down greenhouse gas emissions will be on top of its agenda.

Compelled by government regulations and customer demands, tyre and auto makers are embracing green technologies for their sheer market survival.     They have no option but to work towards a strategy to substantially achieve a low-carbon society.

Global warming is no more an academic speculation, but a scientific reality. Environmental pollution is pushing up global warming to dangerous levels. Globally, governments have set a target of temperature increases to less than two degrees Celsius. To reach that level, emissions must come down to zero or even negative by the end of this century. It’s indeed a tall order.

However, new research shows that even achieving this target is inadequate. Climate scientists warn that even two degree Celsius   warming is fraught with extreme danger to humans and the environment. It results in the melting of polar ice-sheet, destruction of rainforests, and serious health issues, including premature deaths.

Governments should act swiftly and decisively to curb the degradation threatening the environment, particularly in the light of recent findings of   record-breaking devastating heat waves, droughts and floods. Even food security is threatened.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year will have to go beyond political rhetoric. It should commit nations to take compelling action to achieve a low carbon planet. It is important that we take decisive action within a time frame to further curtail and scale down greenhouse gas emissions.

Wealthy nations should assist developing countries with financial and technological backing to build low-carbon economies. What is   disconcerting is the slow pace of alternative   energy development. There are fears that the current low oil prices may put a drag on attempts to develop commercially viable alternative sources   such as   solar energy, wind energy, hydro power, biomass, hydrogen, geothermal energy and ocean energy.

By KS Nayar, Associate Editor, PTA

(Full text in PTA, August/September issue)

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