Achieving carbon neutrality is a vital component of global efforts to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For this, the United Nations (UN) has called for building a global coalition to achieve the target by 2050. It refers to the state in which the net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions released into the atmosphere are balanced or offset by an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) or carbon sequestration.
More than a hundred countries including India have set to achieve net zero carbon emission in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the 2015, Paris Agreement. To achieve the targets, the transfer of technologies, green financing, carbon trading as well as a circular economy concept have been promoted globally.
Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels for energy, industrial processes, deforestation, and agriculture, release significant amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. These emissions contribute to the greenhouse effect, leading to global warming and climate change. Carbon neutrality aims to address this issue by striving to balance the amount of CO2 released with the amount removed from the atmosphere.
To achieve carbon neutrality, organizations, businesses, and individuals need to take measures to reduce their carbon footprint. This involves implementing various strategies, including energy efficiency improvements, transitioning to renewable energy sources, adopting sustainable practices in manufacturing and transportation, and promoting reforestation and afforestation plans.
Carbon neutrality is a complex and ongoing process and hence requires a comprehensive approach that encompasses all aspects of human life including individual activities, from energy usage to supply chains and waste management. It also involves making long-term commitments and continual improvement to further reduce emissions and enhance sustainability to mitigate climate change, environmental preservation, improve air quality, and attain energy security through innovation and technological advancements.
The future of carbon neutrality is characterized by increased global momentum, ambitious targets, and commitments, decentralized energy systems, carbon offsetting and removal technologies, sector-specific transitions empowered through international collaborations, and strong monitoring and accountability mechanisms. By embracing these aspects, the world needs to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon future and mitigate the impacts of climate change with the generation of green jobs and climate-resilient risk mitigation strategies for the well-being of mankind on the blue planet.