Why Is Net Zero So Important for Climate Change?
Net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gases produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We will reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away.
Why Is Net Zero So Important for Climate Change?
Greenhouse gas emissions must decrease significantly for a move towards net zero. For example, changing from fossil fuels to renewables, including wind and solar power to generate electricity, will greatly reduce carbon dioxide emissions in many countries. To make greater cuts in emissions, long-term investment and innovation is needed to provide a technologically viable and economically competitive alternative to fossil-fuel intensive technologies in sectors like heating and transport to reduce the emission of other greenhouse gases (such as Methane) in addition to carbon dioxide from sectors like agriculture.
Using natural solutions, such as planting trees and land management, can help in removing greenhouse gases.
This is an expensive and difficult process. Achieving net zero means that the temperature target in the Paris agreement must be implemented. All governments recognise the need for net zero and some are currently trying to start the process.
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) found that to limit global warming to 1.5, the goal of the Paris agreement, human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by about 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels, reaching ‘Net zero’ around 2050. Any remaining emissions, says the IPCC, “Would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air”.
Who Has Made the Net Zero Commitment?
The United Kingdom was the first major economy to legislate net zero in 2019.
The UK and the US have undertaken to cut emissions faster; the UK has pledged that all its electricity come from renewable sources by 2035, while the US has announced plans to halve its emissions by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
Net zero means cutting emissions as much as possible by reducing gases like carbon dioxide (CO2), which are released by burning fossil fuels, and implementing the so-called offsetting measures, such as planting trees and carbon capture technology.
What Is COP26?
The UK and Italy will host a major event in November. This is the world’s best chance to change the climate.
COP26 is the 2021 United Nations climate conference. For three decades, the UK has been trying to bring countries together for global climate summits; this fact has become a global priority.
This year’s conference will be the 26th annual COP26 summit. The UK is working with every nation to reach an agreement on how to undertake climate change. Scotland is the venue for the conference. World leaders, hundreds of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens will take part in this international summit of huge dimensions.
China will aim for emissions to peak by 2030 and get to net zero by 2060, reducing the amount of carbon it produces per unit of GDP by 65%. But it is said this commitment was made by China’s government more than a year ago, and experts believe China is capable of doing far more for peaking emissions, which would be a major boost to global efforts to remain within the 1.5 Celsius limit.
Xi Jinping, China’s president, will not come to Glasgow. His attendance would be a significant boost, but leading figures in the talks have said they can still have a successful outcome without his physical presence.
US and China Fighting over Climate Change
Six years ago, the United States and China agreed on the Paris Climate Accord, but this partnership has frayed. Dialogue between the two superpowers has been overshadowed by trade accusations, human rights violations and security issues.
The two countries have many problems with working together. Experts and politicians are worried about these problems and their effect on climate change.
At this time, neither country is doing enough to help limit the global temperature increment to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Although China is the main producer of solar energy, wind power, and electric vehicles, it is the world’s top source of greenhouse gas emissions and its biggest coal consumer.
Last year, Xi announced that China does not want to reduce greenhouse emissions until 2030, because it plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.
The United States also releases the most amount of greenhouse gases.
Biden wants the US to reduce emissions between 50% and 52%, to below 2005 levels by 2030. He is going for legislation to fulfil his commitments.
Xi said, “The United States doesn’t have enough validity and it’s a permanent problem”.
China is not going to make any plans for climate change and announce any commitments to COP 26. Beijing is unlikely to take any actions to shift its carbon peak until 2025.
The Biden administration has said that it will not compromise on other issues for the sake of deeper cooperation on climate change; it has announced that China is committing genocide in Xin Jiang and is neglecting human rights. Experts are hoping for the creation of a new way for Washington and Beijing to cooperate.
EU and Net Zero
EU leaders have conducted numerous talks on how to protect the most vulnerable and avoid a backlash against the bloc’s ambitious climate change plans. EU leaders are set to give the green light to immediate rescue plans and “Swiftly consider medium-long-term measures that would ensure energy at a price that is affordable for households and companies,” according to the most recent version of the summit communique seen by Bloomberg news.
The EU will do its utmost to cut emissions. Climate leadership will require more robust action at the national level. It will require fixing inconsistencies within regulatory frameworks. It will need to intensify climate cooperation with less developed economies.
Power Sector’s Main Role in Decarbonisation
Decarbonisation is an important challenge around the world; low carbon usage may happen with electricity replacement. Decarbonisation involves shaping other technology usages in different sectors such as transport, construction, and industry. This policy will require changing regulations and market designs. Deep decarbonisation needs a complete assessment to facilitate the application of the technology in different areas, such as electric cars, ships, airplanes, construction machines, heat pumps, etc. There is a serious need for coordination in these areas to achieve this goal.
Low-income developing countries face a range of problems. The uneven effects of climate change have created external pressures, such as the elimination of subsidies. Climate change is an important challenge that needs huge efforts. It has always been one of the most important problems for humankind. Human-induced climate change has produced long-lived greenhouse gases. The reduction of greenhouse gasses (GHGS) will reduce the dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. This will happen by transforming the energy infrastructure in the transport, agriculture, and industrial sectors.
Most importantly, decarbonisation will reduce air pollution and improve agricultural productivity. But it requires substantial investment and coordination between countries. Some countries have agreed with the process while others have rejected it. A balance must be reached between regulation, governments, consumer behaviour, and technology to make this a success.