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Opinion: Climate Change

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By Jim Stevenson

Is anyone sick of hearing about climate change yet? Have your eyes glazed over? At least it is a change from COVID-19 news.

Whether you believe in climate change or not, there will be consequences for all of us over the coming years, some of which are being felt now. From electric cars to aeroplanes; from windfarms to solar; from hydrogen to natural gas and the eradication of fossil fuels, it is all there.

No longer is it solely the Greens who push this agenda, as mainstream political parties jumped onboard. The Prime Minister and the opposition leader are jostling for pole position, to see who can spend the most from the taxpayer’s purse.

There will be pressure on companies, through the financial and multinationals organisations, like the major banks to prove you have addressed your carbon footprint before they issue loans. There are already Australian Standards such as AS14001 which demand a level of environmental efficiency within a manufacturing business and there will be more to come, to be eligible for contract contention.

Then there is the rush to declare coal as the evil carbon-producer that drives the global warming agenda. One delegate at the recent Glasgow COP 26, declaring the end of coal as a fuel is upon us, only to have China, India and other nations refusing to toe the line. These arguments are sure to go on for some time to come, and when it starts to impact people’s cost of living in a substantial way, there could well be a backlash.

Did you know that the Australian Renewable Energy Agency ‘ARENA’ will play a key role in the development of the partnership with Germany to deliver the German-Australian Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Incubator ‘HyGATE’? This initiative will support a real-world pilot and research projects along the hydrogen supply chain. HyGATE is the first of three major initiatives outlined in the “Accord” which will see the two countries invest up to AU$50 million and €50 million, respectively in new renewable hydrogen projects.

Rolls Royce in the last few weeks have released their new all electric aeroplane (I hope the battery was fully charged before take-off!), Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has announced that its first global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM) in Gladstone, Queensland and has been granted planning approval from the Queensland Government. There are many more examples happening all around us today.

Fortunately, White Industries has been looking to sustainable technology for some time. The factory roofs at the Dalby plant are covered in solar panels to help reduce power costs. By timing the melting and pouring of the molten metal into the moulds at specific times of the day, solar energy usage is maximised. White’s process of recycling moulding sand delivers a 90% reclamation rate, which minimises waste to not only help the foundry be environmentally friendly, but to reduce costs which benefits our clients.

Yes! Folks, it is coming to a neighbourhood near you, the next Industrial Revolution, driven by climate change.

What are your thoughts? How is this affecting your business? Let me know at [email protected].

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