Net zero

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Environmental concerns - emissions.

Net zero emissions means that any greenhouse gas emissions are balanced by schemes to offset an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, such as planting trees or using technology like carbon capture and storage.

Offsetting can be achieved by direct action, or by funding other action.

Why net zero is so important - Net Zero Climate
"The term net zero is important because – for CO2 at least – this is the state at which global warming stops.
The Paris Agreement underlines the need for net zero, requiring states to ‘achieve a balance between [human] emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century’...
Many actors will be able to achieve absolute zero or zero emissions in the process, hence the choice of terms in the global ‘Race to Zero’ campaign focused on raising ambition.
Others will need to scale up removals either themselves directly or by supporting other projects, hence the ‘net’ in net zero."
Net Zero Climate - October 2021

Net zero pathway is narrow but achievable - International Energy Agency (IEA)
"'Our Roadmap shows the priority actions that are needed today to ensure the opportunity of net-zero emissions by 2050 – narrow but still achievable – is not lost.
The scale and speed of the efforts demanded by this critical and formidable goal – our best chance of tackling climate change and limiting global warming to 1.5 °C – make this perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced,' said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director...
... the Roadmap sets out more than 400 milestones to guide the global journey to net zero by 2050. These include, from today, no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, and no further final investment decisions for new unabated coal plants. By 2035, there are no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars, and by 2040, the global electricity sector has already reached net-zero emissions...
Most of the global reductions in CO2 emissions between now and 2030 in the net zero pathway come from technologies readily available today.

But in 2050, almost half the reductions come from technologies that are currently only at the demonstration or prototype phase.
This demands that governments quickly increase and reprioritise their spending on research and development – as well as on demonstrating and deploying clean energy technologies – putting them at the core of energy and climate policy.
Progress in the areas of advanced batteries, electrolysers for hydrogen, and direct air capture and storage can be particularly impactful."
Pathway to critical and formidable goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 is narrow but brings huge benefits - International Energy Agency - May 2021

COP26 President welcomes IEA Roadmap report
"I welcome this report, which sets out a clear roadmap to net-zero emissions and shares many of the priorities we have set as the incoming COP Presidency – that we must act now to scale up clean technologies in all sectors and phase out both coal power and polluting vehicles in the coming decade.
I am encouraged that it underlines the great value of international collaboration, without which the transition to global net zero could be delayed by decades."
Alok Sharma - COP26 President - 2021

See also

External links