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What is Net-Zero

Net-Zero

About Net-Zero

What is Net-Zero

Net-zero, which also refers to carbon-neutrality, means a balance between the amount of earth-warming greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, etc) produced and the amount eliminated from the atmosphere to tackle climate change.
 
The definition of 'net zero' means that emissions are balanced by efforts to offset them, these include planting trees, changing industrial processes, restoring forests or using nature-friendly technology to store and capture carbon emitted from burning oil and coal.
 
Net-zero carbon emissions mean balancing the emissions needed for development with mitigation and conservation measures, including carbon absorption or reduced use.
 
Several nations including the United States, India, South Korea, China and members of the European Union have announced plans to achieve net-zero emissions, meaning they will only release as much carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases as can be absorbed by natural or technological means.
 
What does it mean to reach net-zero emissions?
 
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report on 1.5 degree Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) mentions that the 2 degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold referred to in the 2015 Paris Agreement is more dangerous than previously thought and that unprecedented economic transformations are needed in the next decade to keep warming under the 1.5 degree Celsius target.
 
To achieve net-zero emissions, all human-caused GHG emissions are counter-balanced by removing GHGs from the atmosphere in a process called 'carbon removal'. Net-zero will ensure that global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial age levels. For limiting global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, CO2 emissions need to decrease by about 25 per cent from the 2010 level by 2030 and reach net zero around 2070.
 
Natural gas is a less-polluting fossil fuel that some industries could adopt as a temporary option towards the net-zero target. It tries to lower emissions by setting a price for carbon. Countries that exceed their emissions "cap" can buy the non-used portions allocated to low-emitting nations.
 
India's commitment
 
In November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced at the Glasgow COP26 summit that India would reach the target of net zero by 2070.
 
At COP26, PM Modi also raised the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of achieving 450-gigawatt non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts, among other commitments including reducing carbon emissions. The Prime Minister reiterated that the country will fulfill 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy sources by 2030.
 
India, the world's third-biggest emitter, is ramping up the use of natural gas, biofuels, ethanol mixing with gasoline, and use of green hydrogen among others to cut its carbon footprint.
 

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