Why Is Net Zero So Important in the Fight Against Climate Change?
When it comes to the climate crisis, it is clear that swift and drastic action is needed if the damage to the natural world can be reversed.
One of the most talked about strategies in the fight against climate change is reaching net zero, with significant investments having been made to achieve this goal.
But can we really reach net zero in time? And will it be enough to save the world?
Let’s take a closer look.
What is net zero?
The term ‘net zero’ refers to the goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming to zero. It is hoped that this can be achieved by balancing the amount of emissions that are released into the atmosphere with the amount removed and stored by carbon sinks.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, this needs to be reached by 2050 if it is to meet the target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Who is moving to net zero?
The majority of countries in the world have already set targets to achieve net zero on timescales that are compatible with the Paris Agreement. This includes the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the United States. In fact, to date, more than 120 countries have now pledged to reach net zero in some shape or form by 2050.
It has been agreed that the richer nations should lead the fight against climate change, with a strong moral case for developed countries to achieve net zero ahead of schedule.
How can we achieve net zero?
To achieve net zero, there needs to be a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of the economy. For this to happen, there needs to be large-scale investments in technologies that provide viable alternatives for each sector.
For example, in the energy sector, companies are moving away from fossil fuels and instead turning to wind and solar power, which is having a hugely beneficial effect on greenhouse gas emissions.
However, there are other industries that are struggling to cut down on their emissions, such as aviation, shipping, and the cement industry, which is currently the largest emitter of carbon in the world. That being said, an innovative carbon capture company has created CO2 carbon technology that can capture, use, and store 90% of these emissions.
Greenhouse gas emissions can also be greatly reduced through the use of nature-based solutions such as planting trees and via land management changes that can increase the amount of carbon that is sequestered into the earth.
There are also a number of voluntary schemes, such as Cities Race to Zero and Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance, that have been created to help entities bring down their emissions as quickly as possible.