In this article, we will discuss Net Zero Carbon Emissions (Definition). So, let’s get started.
‘Net zero emissions’ refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere. Think of it like a set of scales: producing greenhouse gas emissions tips the scales, and we want to get those scales back into balance with no new greenhouse gas being added to the atmosphere in any given year. Eventually, we will probably need to tip them the other way to repair past harm. Once we stop emitting greenhouse gases from fossil fuels, we still need to deal with all the emissions we’ve already pumped into the atmosphere over the years. That’s the difference between zero and net zero.
Getting to net zero means we can still produce some emissions, as long as they are offset by processes that reduce greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. For example, these could be things like planting new forests, or or drawdown technologies like direct air capture. The more emissions that are produced, the more carbon dioxide we will eventually need to remove from the atmosphere (this is called sequestration) to reach net zero.
However, to meet the goal of net zero, new emissions of greenhouse gas must be as low as possible. This means that we need to rapidly phase out fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – and transition to renewable energy.