Net Zero

net zero gd topic

Theme:

  • In April 2021, United States conducted a virtual summit on climate change with 40 world leaders. At the summit, several countries including the US, UK, EU countries pledged that they are committed to achieving the net-zero goal by the year 2050.

What is Net Zero:

  • Net-zero means achieving a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. When the entire man-made greenhouse gases are taken out of the atmosphere, then the net-zero goal will be achieved.

Why the concept of Net Zero:

  • The continuous greenhouse gas emissions through industries, transportation system and livestock are resulting in global warming and a change in climate patterns because greenhouse gases tend to trap heat and prevents it from escaping the earth. Climate change will result in severe floods, droughts and thereby will lead to mass displacement of people and loss of lives.
  • Many greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane etc. occur naturally in the atmosphere. So, the temperature is rising for the past million years. In the past, Earth took approximately 5000 years to warm 5 degrees Celsius. But in the past century alone, that means from the year 1900 to 2000, global temperature has climbed 0.7 degree Celsius. And it is expected that there will be a 2 to 6 degree Celsius rise in the global temperature from the year 2000 to 2100, which is 20 times faster than the normal growth rate.
  • If the global temperature rose to even 2 degree Celsius, it will lead to dangerous consequences. So in COP21 (the 21st meeting of the United Nations Climate change conference) in December 2015, the world leaders decided to limit global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius.
  • To reach the goal, several countries pledged to become carbon-neutral or Net-zero carbon-emitting countries by 2050. That means they will balance the carbon emissions with the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.
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How Net zero can be achieved:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by taking several steps such as developing renewable energy resources instead of burning fossil fuels, replacing fuel-based vehicles with electric vehicles, developing efficient technologies etc. Energy, transportation and manufacturing sectors need to adopt net-zero target.
  • Creating carbon sinks to store carbon dioxide by removing it from the atmosphere. Plants and the ocean are natural carbon sinks as they absorb co2 from the air. So, by creating additional forest and tree cover, some amount of carbon dioxide can be removed from the atmosphere.
  • By utilizing carbon capture technologies. Carbon capture technologies can help in removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it in the deep underground, where it cannot be released back into the atmosphere.

Steps taken worldwide:

  • Several countries including the UK, the US, New Zealand, Brazil have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2050.
  • Sweden kept the net-zero goal for the year 2045.
  • India has not promised any deadline yet.
  • Bhutan and Suriname are carbon negative countries, which means they absorb more carbon than they emit.

Criticism:

  • Many countries, especially developed countries did not reach the goals that were promised in previous climate summits. So, many are of the opinion that the net-zero promise may also be delayed.
  • Historically, the US and EU countries caused most of the carbon emissions by rapid industrialization. So, they have to reach the net-zero goal much earlier instead of delaying it till 2050. Moreover, developing countries like India are yet to reach peak emissions and hence cannot afford to declare the target year. So, expecting all the countries to reach the goal by mid-century is unfair.
  • Carbon capture technologies are still in the development stage. So, depending on these technologies to reach the net-zero goals is unrealistic. And this concept may also undermine the importance of reducing carbon emissions by the transition to greener economies.
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Conclusion:

Net-zero goal is highly challenging and very much needed. This should not be delayed like the previous climate goals. And all the countries should keep short term targets, without which reaching the bigger goal will be nearly impossible. Developed countries, which caused most of the carbon emissions historically should help developing countries to transition to zero carbon-emitting countries by helping them financially and also through technology transfer.

Your Turn…

What are your thoughts on Net Zero? Express your point of view through the comment section below. And subscribe to our blog to read answers to the trending GD topics.

References:

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3 comments

  1. Global warming is been a major issue concerning form long ago, but this Net 0 might bring great changes in the environment. We can see a lot of changes in the temperature, and natural calamities happening.

    Government should encourage the companies to use renewable energy for minor power supply process and their operations and should provide support for those companies by providing low tax rate and incentives. More afforestation events have to be taken place. An individual has to be pet plants like they petting animal this culture have to be increased. Less usage of Products which are coming from trees. mandatory policies should be adapted for companies and for Individual for the usage of vechilces, which is already in action but it has to be more serious.

  2. The point I like to add is all about, the necessary support should be provided for those companies which are using renewable source for their operation and other uses and also being environmentally friendly by providing less percentage of tax benefits and add on incentives, and encouraging the companies fighting for the environment, encouraging people for afforestation, and also companies have to encourage CSR by planting trees, educating on the usage of vehicles for their employees.
    Moreover mandatory policies to have greenery in the company locations, not limiting for companies but also for schools, hospitals, places where more amount of people gathered.

  3. On 22nd April 2021, Earth day, the US conducted a virtual summit on climate change with 40 world leaders towards achieving a common goal of net-zero by 2050. The objective is to achieve a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. Now, we all know that naturally occurring gases are good for the Earth. But since the industrial revolution in the 18th century and the burning of fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions are on a rise resulting in Global Warming, Change in climate patterns, floods, droughts, and mass displacement of people. Therefore, loss of lives and total devastation worldwide.
    To improve this catastrophe we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developing renewable resources, replacing fuel-based vehicles with electric vehicles, developing efficient technologies especially in energy, transportation, and manufacturing sectors, and creating carbon sinks to store carbon dioxide by removing it from the atmosphere. Plants and oceans are natural carbon sinks and creating additional forests or planting more trees can reduce some amount of carbon dioxide.

    And in recent times, India is walking the talk on climate change by aggressively inducing renewable resources. On the other hand, the developed countries not only failed to keep their promises rather they even caused most of the carbon emissions by rapid industrialization. However, it’s time to bury the past and work collectively towards achieving this highly challenging and much-needed target. The developed countries should help developing countries financially and also through technology transfer.

    PS: A quick shout out to blog experts that I’m preparing for an extempore for the first time. I’ve summarized the points from the article into nearly 250 words that be spoken within 2 min. Is this the right way for preparing for Extempore? Please share your valuable feedback.

    Many Thanks,
    Deepak Sharma

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