Climate neutrality: what it is and how to achieve it?
The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly noticeable: extreme temperatures, droughts and floods. This is why, at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the EU made a commitment to move towards carbon neutrality in the second half of the 21st century.
In this article we explain what climate neutrality is and what it entails.
What is climate neutrality?
The UNFCCC defines climate neutrality as the idea that net greenhouse gas emissions should be balanced and equal to, or less than, those removed through the planet’s natural absorption. In other words, it means that we should reduce our emissions through climate action.
Carbon neutrality is achieved by emitting the same amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere as is removed, leaving a zero balance, also called zero carbon.
There are different ways in which this balance can be achieved, but the most appropriate and healthiest way is to emit no more CO2 than can be naturally absorbed by forests and plants through photosynthesis, which act as natural sinks, transforming it into oxygen.
Other natural sinks include soil and oceans. However, natural sinks can only remove between 9.5 and 11 gigatons (Gt) of CO2 per year, and global emissions currently amount to 37.8 Gt.
As explained above, climate neutrality therefore aims at offsetting emissions, something that must be achieved between countries, governments, companies and citizens. The problem is that many of these countries or organisations cannot reduce their emissions immediately, as it would take a long time to implement the technologies and behavioural changes required for climate neutrality.
EU targets for 2050
In view of the alarming situation the planet is going through, institutions and governments have mobilised and are already working to raise public awareness of the importance of adopting more environmentally friendly behaviour.
Thus, the European Commission presented the European Green Pact in 2019, which aims to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The aim is none other than to resist climate change and curb the negative consequences we are already experiencing.
This plan is designed to achieve a 60% reduction in EU emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. It envisages achieving full climate neutrality by 2050.
How to achieve climate neutrality
Action must be taken by citizens, institutions, governments and businesses alike, as we are all part of the change. To achieve climate neutrality, some of the measures are as follows.
Clean and sustainable mobility
Some of the proposals to promote sustainable mobility are to use public transport and reduce the use of cars or minimise unnecessary journeys, replacing them with journeys on foot, by bicycle or in electric vehicles. In this way we considerably reduce CO2 emissions.
Encouraging energy saving and promoting responsible energy consumption habits in order to achieve energy efficiency will be key to achieving climate neutrality.
Use of renewable energies
Replacing fossil fuel and polluting energies with renewable and clean energies will also allow us to significantly reduce greenhouse gas levels.
A commitment to the introduction of the circular economy in the production processes of industries is essential to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Based on recycling, reuse and reuse will also reduce the negative impact of business activities on the environment.
ScrapAd is a digital platform for buying and selling waste, on which advertisements for the purchase or sale of any recyclable material are posted. Taking into account the advertisements published on ScrapAd, we could say that 2,222,066 tonnes of CO2 are saved in the event that this recyclable material is consumed instead of raw material, due to the high cost of extracting it. This is equivalent to the CO2 emissions produced by 1,010,000 vehicles in a year.
ScrapAd promotes climate neutrality, how about you?