Forest ecosystems play an important role in combating climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and adapting to the effects of climate change. Forest ecosystems play a significant role as a sink by removing CO2 from the atmosphere with the photosynthesis process during the climate change process. In addition, CO2 removed from the atmosphere is stored as carbon in the trunk, leaves, branches, and roots of trees and other woody plants that make up living biomass, in living and dead cover, and in forest soil. In this respect, forest ecosystems also act as a reservoir. Other terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems such as soil, pasture, meadow ecosystems, and wetlands outside the forest ecosystems also play a role in the carbon cycle by storing carbon.
Both “clean energy” and “renewable energy” are energy sources that use natural factors and forces to generate electricity. Renewable sources play a critical role in the fight for a sustainable future because, unlike fossil fuels, they do not produce any carbon pollution or other heat-trapping greenhouse gases. In other words, they can produce electricity without causing climate change. Concerns about climate change have put energy policies at the center of environmental discussions. Energy is the main determinant of carbon emissions and is one of the most important inputs that determines and maintains the production processes of many sectors. Apart from carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) are powerful greenhouse gases emitted from the energy sector. Renewable energy, in general, can be defined as the energy obtained from the existing energy flow in continuous natural processes. The International Energy Agency classifies renewable energy sources as bioenergy, solar energy, geothermal energy, hydraulic energy, ocean energy, and wind energy. Renewable energy sources and technologies and investments that provide maximum energy efficiency in the fight against climate change have been on the world’s agenda for a long time. The key here is that this energy originates from natural processes and is replenished at a higher rate than it is consumed.
The most important solution for reducing energy-related carbon emissions by 90% in the world is the implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency practices together. Research shows that if the investments in cumulative energy systems for renewable energy and energy efficiency increase by 30% by 2050, more than 11 million new energy sector employments can be created by exceeding the job losses in the fossil fuel sector. Renewable energy technologies - low carbon energy technologies - lead to significant reductions in carbon emissions in the electrical power sector.
According to scientific calculations for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, at least 80% of coal reserves, 30% of oil, and 50% of natural gas should remain in the soil to sustain the planet, that is, it should not be used. Aside from the international community's goal of limiting the average temperature rise of the Globe to 1.5°C, four-fifths of fossil fuels must be left underground and not used to reach the 2°C targets.
One of the steps to be taken to achieve the targets for reducing emissions is the development of low-carbon technologies. For the energy system dependent on fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal to radically change at the global level, it is increasingly accepted that alternative energy sources and low-carbon technologies should be the basis of the future energy system. Due to the higher costs of existing technologies than fossil fuels such as coal, the competitiveness of emerging low-carbon technologies with carbon taxes needs to be increased. The public administrations of states have important roles to expand low-carbon technologies, increase investments, and meet the need for incentive policies and various financing mechanisms.
One of the most important solutions to climate change in the energy sector is energy efficiency. The issue of energy efficiency has become an important struggle policy in terms of reducing the negative effects of climate change, which has gained importance with the Paris Agreement and reducing CO2 emissions. One of the most effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions against climate change in the energy sector is energy efficiency. The International Energy Agency has reported that ensuring energy efficiency on a global scale has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 44%.
This sector, which uses 1/3 of the natural resources of the traditional construction sector, uses 12% of the fresh water and is responsible for 40% of the total solid waste. Compared to traditional buildings, green buildings reduce energy usage by 24-50%, carbon dioxide emissions by 30-39%, water consumption by 30-50%, solid waste by 70%, and maintenance costs by 13%. As of 2019, all new buildings in EU countries have been obliged to be built under the passive house standard.
There is a great relationship between air pollution and climate change. Many gases, some of which are greenhouse gases, that cause global warming and thus climate change, are also common air pollutants. Greenhouse gases and air pollutants are often released into the atmosphere from the same sources. Therefore, limiting emissions that cause air pollution provides potential advantages in tackling climate change. Many studies confirm that effective climate and air policies are beneficial to each other, and it has been evaluated that policies aimed at reducing airborne pollutants can also help keep the global average temperature increase below 2°C. The European Union has started to promote technologies that support each other by making 'beneficial' scenarios of air and climate policies. For example, measures taken or to be taken to reduce emissions of black carbon, methane, ozone or ozone precursors benefit both human health exposed to air pollution and preventing climate change. It should also closely follow the developments in technology to ensure that policies to combat climate change and improve air quality are always beneficial to each other.
Let's examine the issue from the cooperative dimension. Renewable energy cooperatives ensure that the local resources are used by the local people and that the loss rates in the energy system are reduced by producing the energy at the place where it will be consumed. Such cooperatives also have a positive effect on employment and enable society to participate in the economy and have a say in energy policies. In the process of transition to renewable energy, it is an important issue to produce energy locally, in a way that meets the needs of the locals. Such practices also have positive effects on reducing energy prices by preventing monopolization in energy, spreading the capital to the base, and ensuring local development. Many countries in the world practice the production of electricity by cooperating on the production of renewable energy sources quite widely. For example, the number of energy cooperatives in Germany is more than a thousand. Energy cooperatives account for 46.7% of electricity production in Denmark, and more than 150 thousand families are members of wind cooperatives in this country.