What does “Net Zero” actually mean?
- “Net-zero emissions” refers to when all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by human activities are counterbalanced by removing GHGs from the atmosphere through offsets and removals. We can reach net zero when the input of GHGs are balanced to the output.
- Net Zero is similar to Carbon Neutral, however, it goes beyond just carbon.
How can Net Zero be achieved?
- Getting to Net Zero starts with reducing emissions (the “Zero” in “Net Zero” doesn’t necessarily mean we are producing zero emissions, but it means we are mitigating the effects of what we do produce)
- Some key solutions include; shifting to cleaner technologies and energy systems (i.e. phasing out coal-fired power plants), investing in energy efficiency measures, retrofitting buildings, decarbonizing aviation and shipping as well as ecological restoration (i.e. planting trees and protecting wetlands).
- Technological approaches to harness CO2 will also play an important role. Direct air capture technologies – which can remove CO2 from the atmosphere and either turn it into fuel or permanently sequester it using carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS).
- The “International credit trade” is another tactic which allows countries to transfer credit for emissions reductions to another country.
Why is this Necessary?
- To avert the worst impacts of climate change, global net human-caused emissions of CO2 need to fall by about 45 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050.
- Canada has joined over 120 countries in committing to be net zero emissions by 2050.
- To help provide transparency and accountability, on June 29, 2021, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act was introduced. This Act establishes a legally binding process to set five-year national emissions-reduction targets as well as develop credible, science-based emissions-reduction plans to achieve each target.
At MyHEAT, our mission is to empower a worldwide reduction in urban greenhouse gas emissions, one building at a time.
For more information on Net Zero, check out: https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/what-does-net-zero-emissions-mean/