The CO2, also known as carbon dioxide, is a product chemically not very reactive, but biologically very important. The daily experience that we have of this compound are the bubbles of carbonated beverages.
It is present in the atmosphere as part of an exchange between the animal world, which emits it as a byproduct of their metabolism, and the plant world, which uses it for the production of organic substances (photosynthesis).
CO2 is not an air pollutant traditional, such as carbon monoxide or PM10, if breathed at current levels, the humans respiratory system would not suffer directly.
CO2 is also credited with causing emissions in the atmosphere that effect that reduces heat loss and allows the planet to the Earth to have a mild temperature and suitable for humans life.
Therefore it would seem then that CO2 would not have negative effects.
However, the conclusion changes if we consider the increase of CO2 in the "environment".
In the presence of increasing concentrations of CO2, the greenhouse effect caused by this gas becomes more effective and most of the scientists of the world believe that it may induce climate changes. Even if the climate changes observed are small and the complexity of the processes involved makes it difficult to determine some of their causes, the increase of CO2 is considered one of the factors responsible for changes in climate and that might occur in the near future.
The LCA (life cycle assesment) and Carbon Footprint are the same thing?
Life Cycle Assessment: (life cycle analysis), is an analysis method that evaluates a set of interactions that a product or service has with the environment, considering its entire life cycle. Carbon footprint: is the value, expressed in tons of CO2 equivalent over a period of time. Through the Carbon Footprint is then possible to measure the impact that human activities have on the environment, expressed in CO2 equivalent, then evaluated in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases.
The carbon footprint calculates only the emissions that affect climate change phenomenon and not the whole environmental impact of the product concerned
Why doesn't Italy exclusively produce energy from renewable sources?
The renewable energy sources represent the cleanest and with fewer environmental impacts methodology for the production of energy, but are not sufficient to cover the national needs.
The production from renewable sources, thus excluding hydroelectric production, in Italy now reaches about 6% and some of these such as solar and wind, being related to the variability of the wind and sun can not be programmed. This means that at certain times of the day are not able to produce even though there is a demand for energy.
It is also important to remember that the spread of plants from renewable sources, has some environmental impacts (eg. Disposal of photovoltaic panels and / or impact on' agriculture) and are subsidized by the cost of the electricity bill.
This means that while waiting for renewables spread and develop more and more, now we can not help but use the also sources from fossil fuel.
The CO2 and CO2 equivalent are the same thing?
The Green House Gases (GHG, greenhouse gas affection) identified by the Kyoto Protocol are: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
Greenhouse gases are also called "GHG" and cause the so-called climate Change.
CO2 is one of the Green House Gases.
The CO2 equivalent is obtained by converting the various GHG emissions in CO2 emissions on the basis of conversion factors.
Sustainability: What does it mean? Is it just an environmental phenomenon?
The definition of sustainability comes from the Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem who chaired the "World Commission on Environment and Development" in 1987. It is defined as "development that enables the present generation to meet their own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".
There are three main aspects of sustainable development needed simultaneously in order to respect this concept and on which to base the assessment of behaviors and policies:
Economic Sustainability: an economically sustainable system must be able to produce goods and services, avoiding sectoral imbalances that cause, now or in the future, the agricultural and industrial production. Such a system must also be able to maintain manageable levels of debt and which does not bear upon future generations.
Environmental Sustainability: A sustainable environmental system is what keeps its stable base of natural resources, using non-renewable resources only to the extent that it make possible to invest in adequate replacement resources, including in this definition also biodiversity and atmospheric stability.
Social Sustainability: A socially sustainable system must maintain a good level of equity in income distribution. Provide adequate social services, equal opportunities and participation in politics.