4th April 2023See What we can do
Net zero refers to achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere, either through natural or technological means. In other words, the goal is to produce no more emissions than can be offset or removed from the atmosphere.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. The build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, primarily carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, is causing the Earth's temperature to rise, leading to more frequent and intense heat waves, droughts, storms, and other extreme weather events. These impacts are causing significant economic, social, and environmental damage, and are projected to worsen in the coming decades.
Achieving net zero emissions is critical to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change and limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as set out in the Paris Agreement. To achieve this, the world must rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of the economy, including energy, industry, transport, buildings, and agriculture. This will require significant changes in how we produce and consume energy, how we design and operate our cities and infrastructure, and how we produce and consume goods and services.
Achieving net zero emissions will not only help reduce the risks of climate change, but can also bring multiple benefits such as improved air quality, increased energy security, and new economic opportunities. It will require collective action from governments, businesses, and individuals, but the benefits of a net-zero future make it a goal worth pursuing.
To achieve Net Zero, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and also find ways to remove any remaining emissions from the atmosphere. Here are some of the steps that can be taken:
SET AMBITIOUS TARGETS: Governments, businesses, and other organizations should set ambitious targets to reduce their emissions, to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.
INCREASE INVESTMENT IN RENEWABLE ENERGY: To achieve net zero, we need to transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro. Governments and businesses should increase investment in renewable energy infrastructure and technologies.
IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY: Improving energy efficiency in buildings, transportation, and industry can help reduce emissions. Governments can introduce policies and incentives to encourage businesses and individuals to adopt more energy-efficient practices.
DEVELOP AND SCALE-UP CARBON CAPTURE AND STORAGE (CCS) TECHNOLOGIES: CCS technologies can help capture carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and other industrial processes and store them underground. Governments and businesses should invest in the development and scaling up of these technologies.
ENCOURAGE BEHAVIOR CHANGE: Individuals can contribute to achieving net zero by making changes in their daily lives, such as reducing energy consumption, driving less, and eating less meat. Governments and businesses can encourage behavior change through education, incentives, and awareness-raising campaigns.
Overall, achieving Net Zero will require a combination of these strategies, as well as political will, investment, and cooperation among governments, businesses, and individuals.
Entrepreneurs have a crucial role to play in achieving Net Zero. As innovators and problem-solvers, they can create new technologies and business models that can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive the transition to a more sustainable economy. Here are some ways in which entrepreneurs can contribute to making Net Zero a reality:
Developing and commercializing clean technologies: Entrepreneurs can develop and bring to market innovative technologies that can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as renewable energy systems, energy storage solutions, and carbon capture and storage technologies.
Creating sustainable business models: Entrepreneurs can develop business models that prioritize sustainability, such as circular economy approaches, green supply chain management, and sustainable agriculture.
Encouraging behavior change: Entrepreneurs can create products and services that encourage individuals and businesses to adopt more sustainable behaviors, such as energy-efficient appliances or car-sharing services.
Supporting policy advocacy: Entrepreneurs can play a role in advocating for policies that support the transition to Net Zero, such as carbon pricing, renewable energy mandates, and energy efficiency standards.
Investing in Net Zero initiatives: Entrepreneurs can invest in companies and projects that are working towards Net Zero, such as renewable energy projects, carbon capture, and storage facilities, or sustainable agriculture initiatives.
Overall, entrepreneurs have the potential to drive innovation and create new solutions to help achieve Net Zero. By taking a leadership role in promoting sustainability and adopting a long-term perspective, entrepreneurs can help to create a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.
Innovations in technology, business models, and policies will play a critical role in achieving a net-zero future. Here are some of the innovations that can make net zero a reality:
Solar panels manufactured from food waste are one example of ongoing advancements in the energy sector and solar energy in general. Using glowing particles from waste fruits and vegetables, the ground-breaking substance was produced. Carvey Ehren R. Maigue, an engineering student working for AuReus, created it, and for his idea, he won the James Dyson Award.
There are more sophisticated options for renewable energy sources, such as wind turbines, along with new technology development. Everyone is familiar with or has at least seen, the typical wind turbines, which are typically large and can be put both on and offshore. Has anyone, however, come across a modern wind turbine design without rotating blades?
The new style was proposed by a Spanish firm called Vortex Bladeless. The 3m tall bladeless turbine owned by the firm is fixed vertically into the ground using an elastic rod. It is designed to sway or oscillate within the range of the wind's speed, and the resulting vibration generates energy. These bladeless turbines don't need the space that traditional wind farms do to be built, therefore they can be employed in urban or residential settings.
Goodyear is working on a cutting-edge concept for electric vehicles to speed up tyre changes. A "new self-regenerating concept tyre that can adapt and evolve to match individual mobility needs" is what the brand announced.
Imagine a tyre that can adjust to the weather, the route, or your preferred mode of transportation. The latest innovation from Goodyear is made of biological material and reinforced with fibers inspired by one of nature's toughest materials, spider silk. This makes it extremely strong and fully biodegradable.
There are many more innovations are that changing the renewable energy sector and making us achieve a sustainable future. A few more innovations are lithium-glass batteries, sodium-ion batteries, 3D printed solar Trees, waste power planes, solar energy 3.0, carbon nanotubes, etc.
Carbon capture and utilization technology captures carbon dioxide from industrial processes and uses it as a feedstock for the production of value-added products such as plastics, fuels, and chemicals. This approach not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions but also creates a circular economy where carbon dioxide is treated as a resource rather than a waste product.
Membrane-based carbon capture technology uses specialized materials that selectively separate carbon dioxide from other gases. This technology has the potential to be more energy-efficient and cost-effective than traditional carbon capture methods, such as amine scrubbing.
Biomimetic carbon capture technology is inspired by the way living organisms, such as plants and algae, capture carbon dioxide from the air. This technology uses specialized materials that mimic the natural carbon capture process and can potentially be more efficient and sustainable than traditional carbon capture methods.
Overall, these innovations in carbon capture technology hold promise for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change.
EVs have been gaining popularity in recent years as a more sustainable alternative to gas-powered cars. Advances in battery technology have made EVs more efficient, and the development of fast-charging infrastructure has made them more convenient for everyday use.
Hydrogen fuel cells are another emerging technology for low-carbon transportation. These cells convert hydrogen into electricity, emitting only water as a byproduct. They have the potential to be used in everything from cars to buses to trains.
Bike-sharing programs have become increasingly popular in cities around the world. These programs provide an affordable and sustainable way for people to get around without contributing to carbon emissions. A similar concept is with cars also many apps provide services like carpooling.
Rainwater frequently flushes agricultural nutrients into rivers, lakes, and oceans, including manure, sludge, and biomass. When a body of water is overrun with nutrients, a process known as eutrophication results. This process results in algae blooms, some of which release toxins that affect nearby ecosystems. Nonetheless, Carbons Finland is working to find a solution.
Using a hybrid biofilter prevents the leakage of extra nutrients into adjacent water systems. In addition, biofilters can be reused after they stop functioning to re-distribute the captured nutrients into the natural cycle, lowering the need for hazardous chemical fertilizers.
The hybrid biofilter developed by Carbons Finland decreases soil degradation while also increasing soil productivity and plant development by raising the soil's carbon content, offering the agricultural industry a zero-waste, circular solution.
Li-Cycle is attempting to solve the issue with lithium-ion battery recycling. Solving the intricate problems of battery recycling is crucial in a decade where lithium-ion batteries are essential to the electrification of transportation. The goal of the company is to salvage crucial components from lithium-ion batteries to sustainably return those components to the supply chain and further the development of a closed-loop, circular economy.
Formerly, lithium-ion batteries in the USA were exported, dumped, and frequently burned. Yet ever since Li-Cycle was founded, the company's creators have sought to demonstrate that secondary components from used batteries can be recycled and transformed into new batteries through an efficient and long-lasting process.
These are just a few of the recent innovations in the circular economy. As more companies and individuals embrace this model, we can expect to see even more exciting innovations in the years to come.
Net zero is a global goal, and many countries and regions are taking steps to achieve it. Here are some examples of region-wise growing trends for net zero:
EUROPE: The European Union has set a target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Many European countries are also implementing national policies and regulations to accelerate the transition to a net-zero economy. This includes investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation, and carbon capture and storage.
NORTH AMERICA: The United States has set a target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and many states and cities have set even more ambitious targets. Canada has also set a net-zero target by 2050 and has implemented policies to promote the use of clean energy and reduce emissions from transportation and buildings.
ASIA: Many Asian countries, including China, Japan, and South Korea, have set net-zero targets, recognizing the importance of reducing emissions to address climate change. China, the world's largest emitter, has set a target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2060 and is investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and low-carbon transportation.
LATIN AMERICA: Several countries in Latin America, including Chile, Costa Rica, and Uruguay, have set net-zero targets and are taking steps to transition to a net-zero economy. This includes investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and forest conservation.
AFRICA: Many African countries are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and are taking steps to reduce emissions and transition to a net-zero economy. This includes investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and natural resource management.
These are just a few examples of region-wise growing trends for net zero. Achieving net-zero emissions will require sustained effort and investment across all regions of the world, and will require collective action from governments, businesses, and civil society.
Achieving net-zero emissions is a critical goal for addressing climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for humanity. It requires reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all sectors of the economy and achieving a balance between the number of emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.
Many countries and regions around the world have set net-zero targets and are taking steps to transition to a net-zero economy, including investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon transportation, carbon capture and storage, circular economy, and digital technologies. These innovations can help reduce emissions and accelerate the transition to a net-zero future.
Achieving net-zero emissions will require sustained effort and investment from governments, businesses, and civil society. It will also require collective action and collaboration across all regions of the world to address the global challenge of climate change.
The benefits of a net-zero future are many, including improved air quality, increased energy security, new economic opportunities, and a more sustainable and resilient future for humanity. Pursuing a net-zero future is not only necessary but also an opportunity to build a better world for ourselves and future generations.