What is Net Zero?
You’ve more than likely heard the term “net zero”, but what exactly does it mean?
In layman’s terms, net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
Two avenues exist to reach net zero, both of which work in tandem: reducing greenhouse gas emissions as far as possible and then offsetting the remainder via removal/sequestration.
Affecting everyone from countries and companies to individuals, the climate change battle is paramount; and we can each do our bit to support by reaching net zero. The UK has already become the first major economy to set a target of being net zero by 2050.
What is Climate Change?
Evidence shows that our planet is getting warmer. According to records from the World Meteorological Organisation, the warmest 20 years have been in the last 22 years, with the warmest four being very recent: 2015 to 2018. Whilst global average temperatures are now 1°C higher than in the pre-industrial era.
Although a single degree doesn’t sound catastrophic, the reality is that this incremental warming is already having a negative impact. Furthermore, if these recent trends persist, this is set to worsen, with global temperatures predicted to increase by as much as 3-5°C by 2100.
Regardless of it being such a small rise in global temperatures, we are feeling the effects of climate change, erratic weather patterns, including: heatwaves, floods and severe storms; loss of polar ice; and rising sea levels, are just some of the effects – which will only worsen if global warming intensifies.
What is causing Climate Change?
It’s recognised across scientists and governments that climate change is being driven by increased greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. A name they adopted from the greenhouse effect they create by warming the Earth’s surface and air above it. More common forms of greenhouse gases include: water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane.
The most dangerous and abundant of the greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide, which is another reason why cutting carbon emissions, carbon footprints, or sourcing low-carbon alternatives are the recommended methods to combat climate change.