The year 2022 ranks amongst the top ten warmest years on record, highlighting how climate change is affecting our planet. According to the United Nations (UN), countries must tackle climate change, and people must adapt to prevent crises from becoming disasters.
One approach that countries are taking to mitigate the effects of climate change is to implement clean technology—also known as green technology or green tech. Clean technology optimises the use of natural resources and, at the same time, mitigates the adverse effects of climate change on the planet. The importance of clean tech is now evident. In 2022, the total global clean energy investment was estimated to be US$1.4 trillion.
Japan, one of the leaders of clean technology in Asia, has invested billions to reach decarbonisation and its 2050 net-zero goal. Mr Fumio Kishida, the current Prime Minister of Japan, pledged US$60 billion in climate finance at the G7 Cornwall Summit in June 2021 and an additional US$10 billion in November 2021 at the UN Climate Summit to help other Asian countries reach their net-zero goals.
Japan is also one of the first countries to explore hydrogen as a possible alternative energy source. Japan considers hydrogen technology the key to reaching its goal of carbon neutrality and has opened up the world's largest hydrogen production facility, Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), in Fukushima. Having invested billions in the technology, Japan is trying to utilise it for power generation, transportation and other industries. Meanwhile, the Japanese automotive giant, Toyota, has already created its first hydrogen-powered vehicle, known as Mirai, an electric vehicle (EV) which runs on electricity generated by hydrogen fuel cells.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., one of the world's leading industrial firms based in Japan, developed its carbon capture technology process called the Kansai Mitsubishi Carbon Dioxide Recovery (KMCDR). Companies are using the KMCDR method worldwide to reduce their carbon footprints. Recently, ExxonMobil joined hands with Mitsubishi to offer its industrial customers a more comprehensive carbon capture and storage (CCS) solution.
Indonesia has also set a net zero target for 2060 and has committed to using renewable energy to generate 50% of its power over the next decade. The government has pledged not to build more coal power plants other than the ones already planned. Pertamina, an Indonesian state energy company, has partnered with Japanese engineering giant JGC Holdings to turn methane from the palm oil industry into biofuel, which will then be used as a renewable energy source. The technology helps to significantly reduce the amount of methane emission in the atmosphere.
Like Japan, Singapore aims to be one of Asia's leaders in clean technology. The island-state endeavours to reach net zero by 2050 and laid out clear strategies in its Sustainable Singapore Blueprint, which will be a guide to help the country achieve its goals. Singapore has attracted many investments in the clean tech industry.
Singapore is also home to one of the world's largest sea-based floating solar panel farms, with a size of over 45 football fields. It can potentially decrease carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 32 kilo tons annually, roughly equivalent to taking 7,000 cars off the road. Among other initiatives, Singapore has also developed the Singapore Green Plan 2030 to assist it in reaching its long-term goal of net zero emissions.
The above examples are just some of the initiatives, amongst many others, that Asian countries are taking to reach decarbonisation and net zero goals. Climate change is a global crisis that requires a collective effort to mitigate its effect and ensure a sustainable future for future generations. Technological developments and advances such as these within the clean tech industry need to be adopted by all countries. Therefore, the developed nations must share knowledge and look into investing in developing nations to advance clean tech and alleviate the adverse effects of climate change the world over.
JapanSingaporeIndonesiaclean technologyclean techclean tech in Asiagreen technologyhydrogen energysustainable technologygreentech