As part of the planet’s overall plan to slow and eventually reverse climate change, one focal point is the removal of any unavoidable emissions – what’s better known as net-zero emissions.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demonstrated in its most recent report that net emissions must be reduced to zero in order to stabilize global temperatures. The report also stated that any scenario that does not involve a reduction to zero will not stop climate change.
This objective has been ratified by Switzerland, the EU and many other countries (soon to include the United States as promised by president-elect Joe Biden), under the Paris Agreement.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.
The idea behind net-zero is that since the Earth already reacts strongly to small changes in the amount of CO₂, methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, emissions of these gases must be reduced until the whole system is back in balance again.
Net-zero emission means that all man-made greenhouse gas emissions must be removed from the atmosphere through reduction measures, thus reducing the Earth’s net climate balance, after removal via natural and artificial sink, to zero.
Many scientists and environmental activists believe this is the only way humankind would be carbon neutral and global temperature would stabilize.
Recognizing this urgency, an unprecedented number of business and local government leaders are supporting strong national climate ambition through the U.N. High Level Climate Champions’ Race to Zero campaign.
The global initiative sets minimum criteria for designing net-zero targets, asking regions, cities, businesses, investors and civil society to pledge to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and submit a plan in advance of the next U.N. Climate Summit in 2021.
This comes on the heels of the U.N. Secretary-general asking countries to come forward with net-zero targets. In addition, a growing number of countries have joined the Climate Ambition Alliance with aspirations to reach net-zero emissions.
Want to learn more? Tonex offers Clean Energy Economy Workshop | Net-Zero Emissions, a 2-day workshop that focuses on key concepts on a clean energy future and an environmental justice.
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