Carbon neutrality refers to the state of having a net-zero carbon footprint. It happens when all carbon emissions are balanced through carbon removal. It can also be done by eliminating all carbon emissions. It also involves removing carbon oxide from the atmosphere. The removed carbon oxide is later stored as carbon sequestration in attempts to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.
How are countries looking to go carbon neutral?
Over recent years, many countries and companies have decided to go carbon neutral through acts like;
- Introducing carbon-neutral fuels and reducing carbon emissions by changing their energy sources. Some alternative energy sources that most countries have or are looking to adapt to include renewable energy sources. According to research, renewable energy produced almost no carbon emission as compared to non-renewable energy sources.
- Countries are also working towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions to achieve carbon neutrality. Making changes in areas like industrial and agricultural processes also helps countries to reduce their carbon emission significantly hence resulting in carbon neutrality.
- Another act is by using technologies that result in negative emissions. This happens through the use of bio-energy that has carbon capture and storage. Doing so helps to produce negative carbon emissions. This can be achieved by combining the use of biomass with carbon capture and storage technology.
Other countries are doing so through carbon offsetting. This is where the carbon emissions that are made in a single sector are used in another one through practices like setting up carbon offset systems.
Different countries are taking on carbon neutrality for a variety of reasons some of which will be mentioned below;
Reasons for going carbon neutral
Below are some of the main reasons why countries want to go carbon neutral;
1. It helps to solve the issue of climate change
Climate change refers to the rising average temperature of the climate system of the earth. Climate change has led to a lot of negative impacts, including changes in rain and weather patterns, among others. It also leads to more frequent drought, heatwaves, heavy rains, and landslides. One of the main reasons why countries want to go carbon neutral is to resolve the issue of climate change. By reducing the amount of carbon emission in the atmosphere, states are looking to manage the issue of climate change and all its adverse impacts.
2. It helps to reduce air pollution.
Carbon neutrality helps to reduce the level of air pollution. Air pollution results in up to 3 million deaths each year through issues like cancers and other illnesses that are often fatal. Additionally, air pollution also causes destruction of both flora and fauna. It also causes poisoning of plants and animals which are eaten hence causing dangerous impacts to human beings. Carbon neutrality helps to reduce all these negative impacts of air pollution and foster environmental protection.
3. Carbon neutrality is easy to achieve
Another reason why countries want to go carbon neutral is that it is a straightforward concept to understand. This means that more people can get involved with governments to businesses. It also means that there is no need for companies or governments to wait for national or international legislation to allow them to embark on the process of becoming carbon neutral.
4. It helps in preparation for economic changes.
By calculating and assigning money to carbon emissions, countries are working towards an economy where greenhouses will have to be regulated and taxed. By managing carbon emissions, countries can identify the potential for savings and cost reduction.
5. It helps to promote sustainability.
Sustainability is the ability to make decisions that conscious of environmental, social, and human impact for the long-term as opposed to the short-term. Carbon neutrality supports sustainability by protecting the environment and all the resources that it has to offer from damage.
Going carbo neutral is likely to cost a lot of money. However, the cost of the process cannot be compared to the benefits. The loner, the process of carbon neutrality, is delayed, the more the negative impacts which will cost countries and businesses more money than it will take to go carbon neutral.
According to Dealchecker, companies in different parts of the world are allowing travelers to pay for carbon neutrality practices. The money that is collected goes into paying for schemes that help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in different industries. By doing so, the companies are finding alternative ways to cater for the cost of going carbon neutral. Established countries and companies are also working towards financing low-carbon technologies.