Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions. As greenhouse gas emissions blanket the Earth, they trap the sun’s heat. This leads to global warming and climate change. The world is now warming faster than at any point in recorded history. Warmer temperatures over time are changing weather patterns and disrupting the usual balance of nature. This poses many risks to human beings and all other forms of life on Earth.
Manufacturing and industry produce emissions, mostly from burning fossil fuels to produce energy for making things like cement, iron, steel, electronics, plastics, clothes, and other goods. Mining and other industrial processes also release gases, as does the construction industry. Machines used in the manufacturing process often run on coal, oil, or gas; and some materials, like plastics, are made from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels. The manufacturing industry is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
How much of climate change is caused by manufacturing?
Manufacturing – especially of the cheap construction staples steel and cement – accounts for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. That makes manufacturing more polluting than the power or transportation sectors, which receive far more attention in policies and investments.
How do manufacturing and construction affect the environment?
Factories negatively impact the environment through air pollutant emissions, toxic waste disposal and water contamination. Besides, they're also the major offenders when it comes to greenhouse gas contributions. Factories alone are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the emissions to blame for global climate change.
How about the building sector?
Materials such as steel, concrete and cement, used in the construction of buildings, already account for about 9% of overall energy-related CO2 emissions.
Total Emissions in 2021 = 6,340 Million Metric Tons of CO₂ equivalent. Percentages may not add up to 100% due to independent rounding. Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry in the United States is a net sink and offsets 12% of these greenhouse gas emissions. This net sink is not shown in the above diagram. All emission estimates from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2021.