Net Zero Roadmap
Concept and Importance
Net Zero (net zero emissions) is a state where human activities' global greenhouse gas emissions are balanced with the amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere. At the Net Zero level, carbon dioxide emissions are still generated, but an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere when it is released, resulting in no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
The importance of Net Zero in addressing climate change is immense. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, to limit global temperature rise to 1.5℃, global greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced to net zero by the middle of the 21st century. Failure to achieve this goal will lead to increasingly severe impacts of climate change, including:
- Rising sea levels
- Intense and prolonged heatwaves
- Droughts and floods
- The extinction of various plant and animal species
- An increase in infectious diseases
To achieve Net Zero, we need to overcome several significant challenges, especially in heavy industries and transportation.
Heavy industries, such as steel and cement production, consume a significant amount of energy and fossil fuels. Transitioning to clean energy sources and carbon capture technologies in these industries is a major challenge.
Transportation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions from transportation requires a combination of solutions, including:
- Enhancing the use of public transportation and walking or cycling
- Increasing the use of electric vehicles and other eco-friendly transportation options
- Improving fuel efficiency in vehicles
Progress and Challenges
Since the first COP negotiations held in 1995, the energy transition process has made significant progress. Energy from sources like wind and solar is becoming cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives, and most societies and industries are electrifying. Technologies such as carbon capture and synthetic fuels are helping decarbonize industries like steel and aviation.
Despite significant advancements, global greenhouse gas emissions are still on the rise. Current climate commitments put the planet on a path to achieve at least 2.7℃ warming by the year 2100. To achieve Net Zero by 2050, stronger global actions and coordination are needed.
To achieve Net Zero by 2050, strong global and coordinated actions are required from governments, businesses, and individuals.
- Governments need to commit to reducing global emissions by half by 2030 and achieving Net Zero by mid-century. Governments should implement policies and regulations to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Businesses need to invest in new carbon reduction technologies and solutions. They should develop products and services that are more environmentally friendly and minimize emissions in their operations.
- Individuals need to change their behavior to reduce their carbon footprint. Individuals can reduce emissions by using energy more efficiently, driving less, and consuming less meat.
Achieving Net Zero is a challenging but necessary task to combat climate change. To reach this goal, we need collective efforts from all of us.