More countries and companies are pledging day by day to achieve net-zero by 2050 and some by 2030. Today, around three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy sector. Humanity faces significant challenges; that is why climate change should become the priority in individuals’ and companies’ agendas. Achieving Net Zero by 2050 consequently reduces CO2 emissions over time and limits the increase of global temperatures. Therefore, we need to transform production, processing, and consumption toward a clean and resilient system.
Carbon neutral or net-zero CO2
Carbon neutrality refers to net-zero CO2 emissions. According to the IPCC report, limiting global warming to 1.5°C means corporations and countries should reach net-zero CO2 by 2050. To achieve net-zero CO2 is to have a consistent and transparent climate strategy. Therefore, businesses should know that net-zero methods require essential preparatory steps like measuring environmental impacts and understanding emission sources.
A comprehensive sustainability strategy includes three main steps:
- Eliminating refers to reducing sources of CO2 emissions in the value chain, starting with operations until a consistent level of residual emissions is reached.
- Neutralizing refers to the removal and permanent storage of atmospheric carbon in order to counterbalance the effect of releasing CO2 into the atmosphere through Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) activities.
- Compensating refers to the direct investment in emission reduction projects by purchasing carbon credits on the Voluntary Carbon Market. Unlike neutralizing, in which the CO2 is captured, compensating can also produce environmental and social co-benefits on local communities.
Net-zero emissions or net-zero GHG
Net-zero emissions are very similar to carbon-neutral; however, the scale is different. Net-zero emissions strategies include every type of greenhouse gas (GHGs). Carbon dioxide is one of the significant greenhouse gases because it lingers longer in the atmosphere. However, other GHGs that impact human health are nitrous oxide, methane, and halocarbons.
A critical factor in achieving net-zero emissions is the quantification of those emissions. Hence CO2 emissions are comparatively easy to measure, whereas the one related to other GHGs are not as easy. Thanks to different climate metrics, companies can now compare emissions of various gases and achieve considerable results.
The path to net-zero emissions is narrow and staying on it entails the immediate and massive deployment of all available clean and efficient energy technologies. A significant worldwide effort to increase energy efficiency is essential. Renewable energy technologies give electricity the advantage in the global race to net-zero. There are several renewable energy tools that organizations can use to drastically reduce and neutralise their carbon emissions, from elimination initial source of CO2 to the use of offsets to completely neutralize their negative impact on the environment. Additionally, companies are encouraged to participate in the global disclosure system CDP, which enables companies, cities, states, and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts and specifically prompts companies to accelerate their ambition. Aither supports companies to get the needed verification standards that help them in their disclosure process under CDP.