WHAT IS CARBON NEUTRALITY?
While the planet’s resources and state have always been a cause of concern, it has become more and more pressing in the past few years. Younger generations are realizing that they will soon inherit the planet in its current state with a quality of life that will be put more at risk if we don’t act quickly to save what we have left.
As a result, several institutions, companies, and individuals are transitioning to carbon neutrality to try to offset the dangers of burning fossil fuels. But what is Carbon Neutrality? In this article, we expand on this topic and how it will help the generations to come.
Carbon neutrality refers to a balance between absorbing and emitting carbon from the atmosphere within carbon sinks. The process of removing carbon oxide from the atmosphere to store it is called carbon sequestration. To achieve our goal of net zero emissions, greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions worldwide will need to be counterbalanced through carbon sequestration.
A carbon sink is a system that absorbs more carbon than it produces. Our primary carbon sinks are found in nature in the form of forests, soil, and oceans. Estimates show that natural sinks can eliminate around 9.5 to 11 Gt of CO2 every year. In 2019, annual global CO2 emissions reached a total of 38.0 Gt.
To this day, there are no artificial carbon sinks able to eliminate carbon from the atmosphere to help fight against global warming. Unfortunately, carbon, which has been stored in natural sinks like forests, can be released to the atmosphere through logging, forest fires, and changes in land.
As such, it is imperative to lessen carbon emissions to reach neutrality in our climate.
How Can We Achieve Carbon Neutrality?
When we reach carbon neutrality, it will be the equivalent of a net result of zero emissions. While there are several ways to reach the balance we need, the process can be done quicker by phasing out the use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, which are the main culprits behind global warming. The first step is to implement reduction measures and provide compensation through:
The reduction of emissions-producing activities and energy consumption
Technological innovations for low carbon applications
Improving the energy efficiency of various processes
Creating more options for renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, solar thermal, and more
Failing to take the needed steps to reduce climate change can potentially result in business closures and disruptions, damages to corporate infrastructure, and slowed economic growth.
Because of this, investors are demanding that more corporations combat climate change.
Unfortunately, if we don’t reduce our CO2 emissions by 2050 or sooner, we may face irreversible damages to our planet.