This is a response to the following question at Masdar’s 2016 Engage Blogging Contest: The Transition to a Sustainable Economy by 2030.
“In your view, what are the policies that governments should adopt to encourage public-private partnership and enable the private sector to develop the goods and services necessary for a global transition to a low-carbon economy by 2030?”
I am currently sitting in the cafeteria as it is my lunch break. I am having a bowl of rice with grilled fish that I cooked earlier at home. The size and shape of the rice would be unknown to my late grandmother. It was rounder and slightly bigger. The technological advances in agricultural world are changing the way we eat nowadays, in the year 2030.
There were the days when crops were limited due to uncertainty in climate and land fertility. The government were forced to modernize the agriculture system by initially increasing spending in research and technology. Furthermore, they provided incentives to companies who invested their money in the projects as long as they ensure minimum 30% of the jobs were done by local citizen. Money was well spent; scientists and scholars found the ultimate seeds and the greener yet modern way to grow crops.
The grilled fish came from the same location as the rice. An improved small ecosystem was invented to allow zero waste since residual from fisheries were directly used as fertilizer for the crops. The system allowed private companies to diversify their products with minimal transportation cost to the consumers. The raw rice and living fish were transported on a magnetic cargo train with minimum carbon footprint.
These green infrastructures were implemented in the transportation industry. People were localized within small distance to the transportation lines to minimize carbon footprint. The localization made economic zoning easier. Private companies were given spaces to commercialize their products and services in the prime and designated zone. It takes just ten minutes of cycling to the nearest department store and walk around to find all my needs, from foods to home appliances.
A few days ago, I bought an electric griller that I used to grill the fish this morning; it was labelled as green products. The label was initiated by the government to certify private companies who excel in manufacturing eco-friendly products. Those companies are able to assemble recycled materials with minimum to no use of fossil energy; they are given appropriate incentives for doing so. The label is compulsory now and has been triggering companies to shift their factories, products and services into eco-friendly ones.
Aside from being a green product, the griller uses small amount of energy. I would not be worried though since I use solar panel for my kitchen and laundry. The government let the citizen to combine the use of energy sold by the government-owned companies with other means of energy supplied by private companies. This policy initiated plenty private manufacturers to develop and provide solar and wind based energy.
It is without a doubt that these manufacturers need raw materials to create their products. The government had shifted the focus of mining industry into ore-based providers. Coal and oil were left behind due to limited number of users, thus became not feasible enough to be mined. On the other hand, ore materials were smelted in a less pollutive method and enabled the material to be recycled for other use after worn out.
Some technologies were improved as metal-free. Internet data is now wireless and transferred within sunlight, an advanced method of light-based internet transfer. Some small handheld appliances are able to be activated through body heat induction, it is wireless. New kinds of companies with a vision of eco-friendly are ruling everywhere with their cutting edge technologies. Such technologies were unrealistic just a decade ago and perhaps in a decade later, CO2 emitted from our respiratory system can be used for something useful. For now, I will finish my lunch first.