Green technologies primarily affect biodiversity by reducing emissions and other environmentally harmful outputs that contribute to climate change and habitat pollution. The main green technologies that are discussed on this page have clean energy, green transportation, and efficiency applications. The replacement of old technologies should be done with newer versions that reduce emissions by eliminating fossil fuels or increasing efficiency. Replacing current, dirty technologies with green versions is the only way to preserve the many species that are highly susceptible to climatic and environmental changes caused by humans. Replacing old technologies worldwide would be a very expensive project, so we propose replacing dirty technologies when they become obsolete with the cleanest options that are available at that time.
Clean energy must come from emissions-free sources. Clean energy categorizes all of our primary current energy sources except for fossil fuels, the primary source of energy. Fossil fuel burning currently makes up over three quarters of the world's energy consumption. (Fossil fuels, n.d.). Renewable energy sources include solar, wind, nuclear, hydroelectric, and geothermal sources. Realistically, the world's energy should come from a combination of these renewable resources, depending on what is available a given area.
Fossil-fuel based transportation is responsible for 23 to 24 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. (Trends and scenarios, n.d.) This transportation sector can be split into public and private transportation. Public transportation is in general more efficient because it transports more people for less energy. But, it could be further improved by using cleaner fuels or clean electricity sources. Private vehicles are almost entirely powered by fossil fuels today. To transition to renewable energy sources they will have to be replaced by battery-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Simply increasing the efficiency of private cars can be achieved by reducing the size of the cars and making the engines more efficient for regular driving.
One of the main causes of energy inefficiency in homes is inefficient power supplies. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that power supplies have efficiencies ranging from 50 to 90 percent, but they believe that a minimum efficiency of 80 percent for all power supplies is easily achievable. (Caldwell, C. & Reeder, T., 2002) The price difference between an inefficient power supply and an efficient one is estimated at 1 USD - hence, the supply will pay for itself within six months. (Caldwell, C. & Reeder, T., 2002). However, efficient power supplies are not in wide use because they are not purchased by individual consumers; rather, they are purchased by manufacturers of appliances. (Caldwell, C. & Reeder, T., 2002). This problem could potentially be solved by using government incentives to motivate companies to produce efficient power supplies.
Energy can also be saved by switching to newer appliances. Newer appliances are surprisingly more efficient than their older counterparts. In the past few years, appliances have been programmed to draw more power at certain times of the day. For example, certain lights draw less power during the daytime, when they are somewhat unnecessary. According to Electrolux.com, if Europe exchanged all of its appliances that are more than a decade old with the newest models, 20 billion kWh of electricity would be saved and CO2 emissions would be reduced by 18 billion kg. (Ecosavings, n.d.)