Upgrade an Industry and Cut Global Emissions in Half ... at Neutral to Negative Cost

Featured Research: Powering the Wastewater Renaissance
Apr 11, 2016 10:05 AM ET

Powering the Wastewater Renaissance

Hidden away or underground, wastewater infrastructure is an essential component to growing, sustainable communities. Around the world, this infrastructure enables cities to develop, economies to grow and communities to thrive. It is also a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions, primarily due to inherent inefficiencies. (Source: EPA)

Meanwhile, the global environmental challenges we face are becoming more urgent each day. Failing or inefficient infrastructure is one factor that poses serious environmental and economic risk. Our latest research shows that solutions to some of these challenges are available today—and the economic implications are compelling. Existing high efficiency wastewater management systems can significantly cut harmful emissions without adding costs to current operations around the world. What are we waiting for?

Upgrading wastewater infrastructure holds immense environmental benefits. Almost 50% of electricity-related emissions from the wastewater sector in the U.S., Europe, and China can be abated with existing technologies.

Nearly all of this abatement (95%) can be achieved at zero or negative cost.

This translates to a potential global abatement volume at negative cost of nearly 44 Mt CO2e—the equivalent of 9.7 billion gallons of gasoline—annually. (Source: EPA)

Solutions already exist. We don‘t need to wait for new technology or even the highly debated carbon pricing scenarios.

Achieving this significant emissions abatement will be aided by new approaches to public and private financing that incentivizes the adoption of high-efficiency technology for upgrades and replacement, as well as new wastewater infrastructure, particularly in rapidly industrializing countries.

To read the full research report, please download it here.