Carbon Neutrality: The World’s Most Urgent Mission

Blue IoT - Carbon Neutrality: The World’s Most Urgent Mission

Carbon Neutral – or Net Zero Carbon – is a term used to describe the state of an entity (such as a company, service, product, or event), where the carbon emissions caused by them have been balanced out by funding an equivalent amount of carbon savings elsewhere in the world.

These savings are generated by helping to fund renewable energy projects and energy efficiency projects, many of which bring additional social and community benefits in developing countries as well as reducing greenhouse gases.

There is an increasing number of businesses claiming to be carbon neutral. They recognize that being carbon neutral can play a key part in their sustainability and Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy whilst enabling them to do their bit for global climate change. They also realize that individuals and corporate customers prefer to buy products and services from environmentally conscious suppliers.

But at the same time, the main climate indicators are worsening. While the Covid-19 pandemic has temporarily reduced emissions, carbon dioxide levels are still at record highs – and rising. The past decade was the hottest on record; Arctic sea ice in October was the lowest ever, and apocalyptic fires, floods, droughts, and storms are increasingly the new normal. Biodiversity is collapsing, deserts are spreading, and oceans are warming and choking with plastic waste. The scientist tells us that unless we decrease fossil fuel production by 6 percent every year before 2030, things will get worse. Instead, the world is on track for a 2 percent annual rise.

To limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius – a threshold the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) suggests is safe – carbon neutrality by the mid-21st century is essential. This target is also laid down in the Paris agreement signed by 195 countries, including the EU.

In December 2019, the European Commission presented the European Green Deal, its flagship plan that aims to make Europe climate neutral by 2050. This target will be reached through the European Climate Law that sets climate neutrality into binding EU legislation.

Pandemic recovery gives us an unexpected yet vital opportunity to attack climate change, fix our global environment, re-engineer economies and re-imagine our future. Here is what we must do:

  1. Build a truly global coalition for carbon neutrality
    Every country, city, financial institution, and company should adopt plans for net-zero — and act now to get on the right path to that goal, which means cutting global emissions by 45 percent by 2030 compared with 2010 levels. In advance of next November’s UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, Governments are obligated by the Paris Agreement to be ever more ambitious every five years and submit strengthened commitments known as Nationally Determined Contributions, and these NDCs must show true ambition for carbon neutrality.Technology is on our side. It costs more to simply run most of today’s coal plants than it does to build new renewable plants from scratch. Economic analysis confirms the wisdom of this path. According to the International Labour Organization, despite inevitable job losses, the clean energy transition will create 18 million net new jobs by 2030. But we must recognize the human costs of decarbonization, and support workers with social protection, re-skilling, and up-skilling so that the transition is just.
  2. Align global finance with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, the world’s blueprint for a better future.
    It is time to put a price on carbon; end fossil fuel subsidies and finance; stop building new coal power plants; shift the tax burden from income to carbon, from taxpayers to polluters; make climate-related financial risk disclosures mandatory, and integrate the goal of carbon neutrality into all economic and fiscal decision-making. Banks must align their lending with the net-zero objective, and asset owners and managers must decarbonize their portfolios.
  3. Secure a breakthrough on adaptation and resilience to help those already facing impacts of climate change.
    That’s not happening enough today: adaptation represents only 20 percent of climate finance. This hinders our efforts to reduce disaster risk. It also isn’t smart; every $1 invested in adaptation measures could yield almost $4 in benefits. Adaptation and resilience are especially urgent for small island developing states, for which climate change is an existential threat.COVID and climate have brought us to a threshold. We cannot go back to the old normal of inequality and fragility; instead, we must step towards a safer, more sustainable path. This is a complex policy test and an urgent moral test. With decisions today setting our course for decades to come, we must make pandemic recovery and climate action two sides of the same coin.

 

Blue IoT is a disruptive and innovative smart cities vendor and integrator renowned for ‘Encompass Blue’ – the world’s first cloud-based IoT platform suite for smart cities management. Join this urgent mission today! Together with the Encompass Blue Smart Cities platform suite, we can be a part of the carbon net-zero world. Our future world surely will be a better place to live in.

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