Resilience is a journey, not a destination. As the climate has changed, so too have the approaches needed to understand and proactively address associated risks and opportunities. Utilities, governments and corporations across all sectors are realizing that looking to the past is no longer sufficient to plan for our future in a changing climate.
The Water Climate Discussion series creates a space to come together and help the water sector build its leading role in addressing the climate crisis. The series is the result of close collaboration between water institutions who recognise climate change as an
existential threat and wish to have a voice promoting a key message: water is climate. This report is based on the recorded third discussion of
the series: Energy Transitions, which was aired on Thursday, 1 July 2021. The discussion was hosted by Martin Currie and led by Ivan Vølund of VCS Denmark, John Sammon of Scottish Water Horizons and the interaction of the participants.
Nearly 50% of electricity-related emissions from the global wastewater sector could be abated at negative cost by investing in readily available technologies This report investigates greenhouse gas abatement opportunities from energy efficiency in the wastewater sector.
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 265 times stronger than carbon dioxide on a 100-year time horizon (Eickemeier et al., 2014) and therefore, even emitted in small amounts, it can contribute significantly to global warming. In addition, nitrous
oxide is acknowledged as an important threat to the ozone layer (Ravishankara et al., 2009). N2O is an undesired bioproduct emitted during the biological nitrogen removal process in wastewater treatment systems and despite the recent efforts in understanding nitrous oxide
emissions from wastewater treatment, data from full-scale plants is still scarce.
As the world recognizes the growing impacts of climate change, there is a sense of urgency to accelerate the transition to energy, transport and industrial systems with fewer greenhouse gas emissions and effectuate more sustainable modes of production
and consumption. To enable this transition, new energy carriers will be needed to transfer the increased levels of decarbonized energy
to consumers, without impacting the quality of service to residential, industrial and transportation users. Hydrogen offers
a versatile solution and is emerging as an increasingly important energy vector for decarbonized fuel sources, as well as for the storage and transport of renewable energy. Hydrogen is expected to play a critical role in decarbonizing power generation and transport, heating domestic and commercial buildings, and supporting industrial feedstock and industrial processes — including hard-to-abate sectors such as
steel, refining, cement and agriculture.
Engineered biological nutrient removal (BNR) processes have been identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as potential contributors to atmospheric nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. This is a significant concern to wastewater utilities because the greenhouse impact of nitrous oxide emissions on a mass equivalent basis is 300 times that of carbon dioxide. This study differs from other studies in that it characterizes the microbial pathways for N2O formation in addition to measurement of emission rates from several BNR and non-BNR plants across the U.S. As the production and emission pathways are understood, operational strategies to minimize N2O emissions appear highly likely.
Working together, infrastructure organizations have the power to use PAS 2080 to transform the benefits that a national economy gains from its infrastructure systems and to provide a sustainable legacy. If all parties involved across the value chain work collaboratively, towards a common goal to reduce carbon, the following outcomes can be achieved:
• Reduced carbon, reduced cost infrastructure;
• More collaborative ways of working will promote innovation, delivering benefit to society and communities served by economic infrastructure;
• Effective carbon management in infrastructure will make an important contribution to tackling climate change and leave a positive legacy for future generations;
• Delivering more sustainable solutions, at lower cost, will enhance the reputation of the infrastructure industry, generating pride for those who work in it and attracting new people and skills;
Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing humanity, with far-reaching and devastating impacts on people, the environment, and the economy. Climate impacts affect all regions of the world and cut across all sectors of society. People who did the least to cause the problem—especially those living in poverty and fragile areas—are most at risk.
This publication is intended to support water utilities, especially in EMDEs, (Emerging Markets and Developing Economies), to broaden their knowledge of the currently available methods, including their advantages, disadvantages, application possibilities and limitations to be
able to make an initial pre-evaluation of the methods under the respective local conditions.
Even as the world looks to step up efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the need to adapt to the impacts of climate change already locked in are just as important. The sixth edition of the UNEP Adaptation Gap Report: The Gathering Storm looks at how the world is doing in adapting to these intensifying impacts.