What is a human’s negative impact on the environment?
Moreover, for humans today, trying to adapt to a ‘clean and green’ lifestyle now, after years of ignoring climate change, will prove to be harder than meets the eye. One of the biggest negative contributions that humans have made to the earth’s ecosystem is the burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The concerning reality of the Anthropocene is that coal, oil and natural gas have supplied the majority of energy since the industrial revolution, and therefore, trying to change this will take time, money and effort. Non-renewable energies have shaped the modern world of economic and urban development and building design. However, it is now critical that we change the production and usage of energy if climate change is to be mitigated spatially. Over the last 100 years, CO₂ emissions have grown by 2.7 per cent, and despite considerable discussions about climate change such as the Earth Summit in Rio 1992, emissions have increased at an alarming rate.
Nevertheless, the mitigation of emission reduction is possible by applying the techniques and theories of spatial planning. During the 1990’s, sustainable development emerged as the ‘big idea’ to help resuscitate the jaded reputation and fading fortunes of Planning. It can be argued that likewise to Counsell and Haughton’s idea, spatial planning is the saviour that climate change needs in today’s society. When tackling emissions, the collective approach of spatial planning involving the public and private sector is necessary to mitigate challenges sooner, rather than later.
The RTPI, 2014 explains that while advances in renewable technologies will be important, planning the hopes on a large-scale technological fix is misguided, however, this opinion can be challenged. Wilson and Piper, 2010, describe how the EU has strengthened its measures to alter the technologies of road transport, requiring cleaner fuels and promoting biofuels, enforcing regulations for fuel-efficiency ratings of cats and imposing obligations on car manufacturers. This method contradicts what the RTPI is suggesting however its ability to mitigate climate change is unknown. Transitioning to low carbon energy will require large land areas and a lot of funding in order to be successful. However, it is difficult to achieve this when possession of funding or cooperation from Governments is at a low level.