Already dubbed the ‘century of the environment’, the 21st Century brings with it the necessity for change in the way that humans–individually and collectively–treat the planet. Difficulties such as declining energy sources, pollution from fossil fuels, climate changes, increasing population creating more demand, and other struggles have begun to demand attention. Green technology holds the answers to many of these problems.
Although it sounds like kind of a fancy name, the word ‘technology’ actually is quite simple. It involves applying knowledge for practical purposes. And ‘green technology’, ‘clean technology’, or ‘environmental technology’ cover the application of knowledge about nature and humans. This encompasses how humans effect nature, how nature benefits humans, and how the two can work in a synchronized way to better their relationship.
The field of green technology is rapidly growing, developing concepts for products such as sustainable energy, source reduction, innovation, reduced environmental impact, and viable design for reused or reclaimed items. This may include green building design, alternative energy sources, green chemistry, and eco-friendly marketing/purchasing.
Leading Countries in Green Tech
Around the world, many places are fighting against the social and political barriers which come along with the need for green technology, almost half of them are in Europe. Denmark, one of the smaller countries of the world, has pushed forward to lead the world in developing clean technology. The wind energy sector is a strong player, while the government is also pushing to reduce emissions.
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country to have made strides toward sustainability in living and technology. With limited water and few fossil fuels, this country has come to the place where over 90% of its home use solar energy for water heating. Drip irrigation and water recycling are other major benefits of the Israeli developments.
Sweden ranks for funding research and development of clean technologies, heating 80% of its homes with waste energy. Finland (furthering the Scandinavian trend) leads through the renewable energy sector while bringing companies together to facilitate investment.
The United States sits at #5 on the list of countries with developing green tech info and application. California is the state with the largest portion of this industry, using almost half of the US investments there. Germany, Canada, South Korea, Ireland, and the United Kingdom also sit on the list of countries making forward movement in the area of environmental technology.
As time passes, these countries will hopefully be leaders and mentors for other governments and states which need direction and assistance in developing their own systems of sustainable living. As businesses seek to invest in such green industries, it is likely that these countries will continue to thrive and grow environmentally and economically.