Ever since the beginning of industrialisation, human activities have strongly contributed to the rise in greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The most important cause has been the combustion of fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and gas, which inevitably releases carbon dioxide.
Due to anthropogenic emissions, the C02 concentration in the atmosphere has risen by more than 30% since the year 1750.
Beside the CO2 concentration, human activities have also increased the methane content in the atmosphere. Higher methane emission levels are caused to a large extent by water-covered rice pads and livestock farming, in particular the ever-growing herds of cattle. The greenhouse effect of methane is much stronger than that of CO2. On the other hand, methane decomposes in the atmosphere much faster than carbon dioxide, the specific risk of which is its long-term accumulation.
1997 saw the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol, under which the international community of states agreed for the first time on binding targets and implementation instruments for the protection of the global climate and under which the industrialised countries, as the main contributors to the additional greenhouse effect, assumed for the first time the legal obligation of reducing their emissions. The Protocol lays down that from 2008 to 2012, the industrialised states have to reduce their emissions of the six most important greenhouse gases by at least five percent from the levels recorded in 1990.
With our technology for the conversion of gases into energy and heat, we make a major contribution to the reduction of emission levels.
Progressing climate change, dwindling resources, and the increasing demand for energy are forcing mankind to change energy policies.