#vol 3: What is Net-Zero?

Is it possible to achieve net-zero emissions target?!

Hey Friends,

Trust you had a great week?

Living in a world where scientist wants to interfere with the earth processes, addressing climate change will require many solutions, yet nearly all of these solutions exist today, and many of them depend on humans changing the way we behave, changing the way we make and consume energy, the required changes cut across technologies, behaviours, and policies that encourage less waste and smarter use of our resources.

Changes that will improve energy efficiency and vehicle fuel economy, increase in wind and solar power, biofuels from organic waste, and protecting forests are all potential ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases trapping heat on the planet. All these changes will lead us to today's topic which is NET ZERO.

I’m sure we have heard or come about the term “Net Zero”, countries like the United States, China and the European Union are all championing the net-zero emission target and more than 130 countries have now set or are considering a target of reducing emissions to net-zero by mid-century.

See also: What is Climate Change?

So how do we come about Net Zero?

Before the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, scientists realized that it was not possible to cut emissions fast to meet the temperature target that policymakers wanted, what was needed was to immensely remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere too. Scientists and policymakers began to talk about a world in which greenhouse gas emissions and greenhouse gas removals balanced each other out, so the overall effect was Net Zero!

What is Net Zero?

The term Net Zero (can also be called carbon neutrality) means achieving a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere, and the carbon removed from it. So to achieve net-zero emissions we need to do two things;

  1. The more obvious one is to reduce our output of greenhouse gas emissions from things like burning fossil fuels.

  2. We have to take emissions out of the air, and this is the harder and more obscure aspect of getting to net-zero.

To be very honest, net-zero targets are going to be hard to achieve, we’ll need to go from a world economy that pumps out 40 billion tons of CO2 per year to the one that removes billions of tons per year to get to that net-zero future. Although there are different ways to do this, forests do this naturally through a biological process, but what we are looking out now to achieve net-zero targets are man-made approaches.

Norwegian state-owned oil company Equinor (formerly Statoil), rebranded in 2018, this is what they said; “If a company is to succeed over time, it must change and adapt at least as fast as its surroundings. We changed our name to Equinor because we’re going from being a pure oil and gas company to become a broad energy major.”

See also: Effects of Climate Change.

A lot of problems comes around achieving this target, example is “developing countries telling rich countries they got rich putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, so now it’s their turn to lift their citizens out of poverty,” funny? No! But the major problem we are facing is innovation, the world is counting on innovations that have not yet been demonstrated at scale to achieve targets that we are setting for ourselves, one of which is nuclear fusion, we are hopeful, but it’s a high-risk bet.

People see ambitious climate targets and say fantastic, the problem’s getting solved, here’s the problem; a target is no guarantee that we are going to get to the goal, mind you, it’s important to have targets, it binds society together, it gives us a direction in which policies to make, it gives investors and markets some idea and some degree of certainty as to what investment to make, however, we often fall short of targets!

I hope you enjoyed learning, to be continued!

Together, we have been learning about climate change for the past 3 weeks, so for the next 6 weeks, I am going to be writing on other topics, but if you have any challenging question(s) on climate change drop them in the comment section, I will try to give the best answer.

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Lest I forget, tomorrow, Saturday, is the 20 years remembrance of the 9/11 attacks on the United States, President Joe Biden will visit all three 9/11 memorial sites to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks and pay his respects to the nearly 3,000 people killed that day, their memories will be cherished forever!

Enjoy your weekend!


My favourite things this Week

I came across this video recently where Simon Sinek was talking about Finite and Infinite players in the game of business, not only does it applies to business alone. He said “the only person you are meant to be competing with is you” which I agree with, “waking up every day and telling yourself I have to be better than I was yesterday.”

It was one of the best speeches have come across on the internet!

Quote of the Week

I took this statement from one of my favourite books titled Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, it was all about the life of Jobs, I came to understand what Jobs said better when I came across Simon Sinek video where he was talking about Finite and Infinite players. This is what Jobs said;

“The goal was never to beat the competition, or to make a lot of money, it was to do the greatest thing possible, or even greater."

Thanks to Jobs and the Apple team, they reinvented the Smartphones. I quote “His passion has always been to build an enduring company where people are motivated to make great products, sure it was great to make profit because that was what allowed you to make great products, but the product, not the profits, were his motivation.”

See you guys next week Friday!