With governments and organisations worldwide beginning to make commitments on climate change, Stockport-based renewable energy specialists, KAST Energy, explain in the first of a series of articles what Net Zero means and how businesses and individuals can achieve it.
The Net Zero target refers to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions to zero, principally CO2. The UK Climate Change Act sets out a target of 2050 for achieving net zero emissions of greenhouse gases overall.
When the IPCC published its Report on 1.5°C in October 2018, the governments of the UK asked the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), to provide advice and clarity on how the UK and Devolved Administrations’ long-term targets for decarbonisation could be achieved.
Decarbonisation will require action at all levels. Success will involve educating and empowering consumers, as well as policy support to speed up the integration of low carbon technologies across all sectors, for a lower carbon future.
For the UK to hit its 2050 target, 2000 homes will need to become carbon neutral each day.
In many areas of the economy, technologies exist that can reduce carbon emissions down to zero. Electricity can be generated using renewable sources, such as solar and wind, and nuclear generation. Transportation systems that run on electricity or hydrogen, well-insulated homes and industrial activities based on electricity rather than gas can all help to eliminate emissions.
However, for other industries, such as aviation, the technological options are limited. in agriculture, it is thought that emissions will be dramatically reduced but not to zero. Therefore, some emissions will likely remain; to offset these, an equivalent amount of CO2 will need to be removed out of the atmosphere – negative emissions – thus, the phrase becomes ‘net zero’ for the UK (the term ‘carbon neutrality’ is also used).
With the UK committed to become net zero by 2050, KAST will issue a series of articles over the coming weeks outlining the pathway for both industry and consumers to reach net zero.