Chemical engineers can significantly impact innovative technological solutions for climate change. Our role in shaping government, industry, and institute policies is also essential to combating climate change and building global, societal resilience.
AIChE has a history of hosting and encouraging analysis and debate of climate change issues, as well as establishing new communities to help address climate change. In 2014, AIChE established its first official policy on climate change, focusing on actions to organize and disseminate information. In 2019, AIChE expanded this policy to center on the statement: “Adverse climate change poses threats to all of us, both individually and as a society. These threats fall squarely in the realm of the chemical engineer, who is well-positioned to assess the issues and develop solutions through well-founded engineering and economic approaches.”
It is helpful to view AIChE’s policy in the context of climate-change policy statements published by companies that employ many chemical engineers. Oil, gas, chemical, and material processing industries have traditionally relied on fired thermal processes that generate CO2 and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fugitive emissions of methane, a potent GHG, occur when natural gas is produced and distributed for consumers and power...
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