Less than a year before the COP26 summit (or 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties) that will be held this November in Glasgow, 61 % of world countries, including the UK, have committed to net zero emissions in order to minimise their environmental impacts. Net zero can be achieved when there is a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount absorbed from the atmosphere. The world is taking action to become climate-neutral by 2050, according to the international treaty on climate change known as the Paris Agreement. The intent of this legally binding agreement adopted on 12 December 2015 is to limit the rise in average global temperatures below 2, and ideally to 1.5 degrees Celsius. To make this happen, the world needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the economy. We present the most important steps required for building a green future and creating a long-term net zero strategy.
Two ways to provide a low-carbon economy are by removing carbon to balance out remaining emissions or by reducing the amount of carbon. Reaching the long-term global temperature goal will require all economic sectors to achieve zero carbon emissions.
For some industries, this is more challenging, especially the energy sector, which has been recognised as the major source of emission. Four of the most energy-intensive industrial sectors and three key transport sectors (aviation, shipping and road freight) are responsible for 38 % of energy emission. The most important aspects are recognising the need for deep decarbonisation and choosing renewable energy technologies.
Use of nature-based solutions
Nature-based solutions include a wide range of projects with a goal to use nature for absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Not only do they protect nature and lower the cost of emission reductions, but also bring valuable advantages for humans.
Protecting natural resources through nature-based actions could be essential in limiting global warming, which is implied in the Paris agreement. These actions are also beneficial for both biodiversity and local communities. They have positive effects on human health, providing much-needed clean air and healthy water.
Including renewable energy solutions
Power plants are producing nearly 40 % of global carbon dioxide pollution by burning fossil fuels to create the energy we use, while the impact of renewable types of energy on the climate is considerably low. Investing in increasing renewable energy capacity, such as solar panels, wind, or geothermal power, can benefit the environment and businesses. Two-thirds of the global energy demand can be supplied by renewable energy which is the ideal solution for replacing high-carbon fossil fuels.
On the other hand, more than 80 % of the needed carbon dioxide emission reductions can be done using renewable energy technologies, together with demand reduction and energy efficiency. Renewables show huge potential in building the green future and are expected to become the leading source of energy on our net zero mission in the following decades.
Net zero buildings
The net zero carbon strategy should be implemented for infrastructure, including the existing one and the one that will be built in the future. This requires changing the way we plan, design, and construct buildings.
Up to 40 % of the global carbon emissions come from the construction sector, as a result of using building materials such as steel and cement. While making a strategy for reducing carbon emissions, considering switching to longer-lasting materials and improving construction methods are as important as focusing on energy efficiency. The sustainable approach should have an impact on the overall construction process. It should focus on reducing the fossil energy demand, rely on renewable, longer-lasting, energy resources, and repurpose existing buildings and materials.
Last year’s economic slowdown caused by COVID-19 pandemics helped reduce global CO2 emissions by 7 %. Experts are claiming that this will not have an important effect in the future unless we take serious steps to provide long-term greenhouse gas emission development strategies. For goals of the Paris agreement to be accomplished - governments, corporates and individuals must work together towards reducing greenhouse gas emission. Companies across the world are setting their own net zero targets as part of the global plan for creating a green future.
At Green Recruitment Solutions, our global team offers unmatched expertise and experience within a range of areas such as CSR and sustainability strategy. Our desire to make the world a better place stems from our passion for the global green agenda.
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