The Net Zero Goal and Why It Matters: Climate change is one of the biggest concerns in the present century and with the gradual increase of CO₂, methane, and other greenhouse gases, the Earth’s temperature is increasing at an alarming rate. This has had terrible consequences on our lives and is getting even worse day by day.
Compared to the pre-industrial era, the average global temperature has increased by 1℃. A degree may not sound like a lot, but the dire consequences proved how terrible its effects can be.
This so-called tiny temperature rise has created erratic weather patterns like severe storms, floods, rising sea levels, heat waves, loss of polar ice, and many more.
And the worst-case scenario is if the current trend continues, then the average global temperature will increase up to 3-5℃ more by the year 2100. Do we want that to happen? Of course not. And that is why the concept of the Net-Zero goal is grabbing more and more attention in recent times.
What Does it Mean?
By Net-Zero goal, we mean the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas added to the earth’s surface and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Thus, the net-zero goal is achieved when the amount of greenhouse gas produced is no more than the amount taken away.
Reaching Net-Zero requires us to balance between the amount we emit and remove. When what we add is no more than what we remove from the atmosphere, we enter into a net-zero stage. This stage may also be called “Carbon Neutral” where no extra carbon will be found.
Carbon dioxide is the only greenhouse gas that can be absorbed from the atmosphere easily. And thus, this can be used as a way to implement this negative emission strategy both naturally and with artificial build technology.
We all know plants absorb CO₂ in the process of photosynthesis and therefore, growing trees will remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Thus, we can gain the negative emission target if the rest of the factors remain unchanged.
Afforestation and reforestation are the two effective ways to gain success by this way which refer to planting more trees and replacing forests that have been lost respectively. Besides, BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Direct Air Capture can be the technical options for this project.
Why Net Zero Matters?
Technologies are available in several economic sectors that can bring greenhouse emissions to almost zero. Energy generated from renewable sources and nuclear generations can meet up electricity and power demands, electric vehicles can give support to the transport sector.
However, sectors like aviation and agriculture, it is tough to bring the emission to zero and thus, some emission is likely to remain here. To offset these and implement zero-emission, the equivalent amount of CO₂ will be required to be taken out, making the target of carbon neutrality for the whole economy overall.
And as discussed earlier, to protect our dear mother earth from tremendous hazards and calamities, this Net-Zero carbon emission is the only solution for the long run. And the successful implementation of this can neutralize the surface temperature and protect us and the future generation.
Net Zero Implementation
Complying with the Paris Agreement Temperature Goal, several countries have committed to implement this Net-Zero project targeting a timeline up to 2050. Among them, the majority of the European industrial countries including the United Kingdom take initiative to become carbon neutral within 2040-2050.
Recently, European Union, also by its European Climate Law, committed to being emission neutral by the year 2050. However, it’s all dependent on the developed industrialized countries on how they accomplish this project as a whole.
The bottom line is if we want to tackle climate change by reducing global warming, then this Net-Zero project is the best way we have. Since this issue has already become serious, our activities in the next two decades will shape the future of our beloved planet. And for this, the collaboration of every country and community is a must to find new ways of offsetting the greenhouse gases we are producing.