BackgroundCarbon emission into the atmosphere is the core contributor to the greenhouse effect which causes global warming and poses a serious danger to the environment. Ahmed, (2003) examines distinct areas in public health and environmental protection that are directly affected by excess carbon emissions. He notes that over the years carbon emissions have steadily increased as civilizations heavily relied on fossil fuels and industries that run on coal for economic growth. In light of this, Research by Alfarra & Abu-Hijleh, (2012) focuses attention on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its role in carbon emission being among the world’s leading oil producers, and especially considering the large percentage of which they consume locally.
They note that in the process of production and consumption of oil, although very essential to the energy and economic sector of this region, directly emits carbon gas into the atmosphere. Essentially, this leaves the region at a crossroad in that burning of fossil fuels and the emission thereafter is a constant threat to the climate, environment and human livelihood. At the same time this region and its population directly relies on this energy for economic growth and development.
This has raised concerns over environmental degeneration and the devastating effects it has on sustainability of the environment in the region. This review will discuss how the carbon capture and sequestration technology has been incorporated in the UAE to mitigate these emerging concerns, what previous research has uncovered, the challenges involves and the positive impacts CCS technology has in the region. Carbon emission in UAEThe United Arab Emirates is among the leading oil producers in the world, and the production of oil comes with a significant amount of carbon dioxide all of which is discharged into the atmosphere.
Over time, this region has had an over reliance on fossil fuels, and cheap energy to boost its economy. According to Alfarra, H. J., & Abu-Hijleh, B., (2012) the UAE has grown to be one of the largest markets and tourism destination in the world, this further increased the carbon emissions to an alarming rate. For instance the amount of vehicles on traffic in a day alone is enough to emit a significant amount of carbon in the atmosphere to cause concern.
In addition the amount of energy consumed in sustaining the sudden surge in population strains the environments capacity to sustain its population and further increases the threat of carbon emissions in the UAE. Such trends have become a major concern over time in the region, especially considering it paints a very negative picture to a world struggling to combat and manage global warming and climate change. Numerous proposals have been fronted to help in tackling the high carbon emissions in UAE at the core of which lies the Carbon capture technology.
Research by Pires, et. al, (2011) suggest that the development and expeditious application of CCS technologies has been perceived as being strategically positioned in addressing this grave issue. It further adds that all expenses considered inclusion of CCS technology will steadily reduce carbon emission by capturing the harmful gas before it is emitted to the atmosphere. Furthermore the fact that it is capable of extracting already emitted carbon from the atmosphere and safely store it away shows that over time and if properly utilized, CCS technology could significantly manage greenhouse effect essentially slowing global warming.
As it stands currently carbon emission in this region is at an all-time high and the carbon footprint of UAE is painting a negative picture of this region; furthermore climate change already is affecting the environment and the economy negatively. Herzog, (2001) argues that CCS technology is capable of reversing these damaging effects over time by reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. He adds that, the inclusion of CCS in projects to combat carbon emission showed a tremendous improvement in the reduction of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
According to this research CCS has a unique method of quickly and efficiently getting rid of excess and dangerous CO2 and safely store it underground or in depleted oil wells. However this technology comes with cost challenges and full implementation will have long term effects to the economy. Peter Folger, (2009) in his research pointed out the potential problems in maintaining the integrity of the reservoirs. He argues that the chemical reactions following the injection of CO2 into the ground can acidify the soil thus lowering the pH; it may also increase permeability and by so doing allow CO2 rich fluids escape.