What is Net Zero?

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Is this target key to helping us saving the planet?

  • In 2015, nearly 200 nations submitted plans to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Paris Agreement in a bid to slow global warming.
  • Five years later, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said they had to go further and recommended cutting global emissions to net-zero to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.
  • Net zero refers to the goal of reaching a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere and the amount removed.
  • This means reducing how much CO2 we emit but also turning over vast areas of land to natural forms of carbon sequestration like forests and wetlands.
  • The greatest emitters of CO2 are China, the USA and the EU but this will mean radical global changes in how we structure our economies and our lives.
Financial Times
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5 articles on this topic


Net-zero by 2050: What does it mean?

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12 min read
Climate Home News

Net zero: the story of the target that will shape our future

10 min read

What is net zero and how are the UK and other countries doing?

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3 min read
Financial Times

Navigating the bumpy road to net zero

17 min read
The Conversation

Climate scientists: concept of net zero is a dangerous trap

15 min read