Carbon neutrality

Carbon neutrality means achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by maintaining a balance of carbon dioxide emissions by eliminating or removing carbon dioxide emissions.

Key Points

  • A carbon sink is a system that absorbs more carbon than it emits. Trees, forests, and oceans are examples.
  • Eliminating carbon oxide from the atmosphere and then storing it is called carbon sequestration. It is one of the methods of reducing carbon emissions.
  • Shifting to renewable energy sources is also helpful in balancing carbon emissions.
  • As per the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), global warming should be limited to 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius.
  • To achieve this figure, carbon neutrality by the year 2050 is essential. Achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 is also a part of the Paris Agreement.
  • A more inclusive term called ‘Climate Neutrality’ is used, to include all harmful greenhouse gases, including Carbon dioxide.

New Zealand Declares Climate Emergency

Recently, New Zealand has declared Climate Emergency and has pledged to become carbon neutral by the year 2025. The Prime Minister of the country, Jacinda Ardern has declared this emergency on the basis of the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The country has passed Zero Carbon Bill with an aim to have net 0 emissions by the year 2050 with an exemption to the farming sector. The country's programme will be supported by a fund of NZ$200 million to finance the replacement of coal boilers and the purchasing of electric or hybrid vehicles.

New Zealand has now joined other 32 countries that have declared climate emergencies such as Britain, Canada, France, Japan, and others.

Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC)

Established in the year 1988, IPCC is an intergovernmental body that provides information for understanding risks of climate change, its impact and possible responses. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and was later supported by the United Nations General Assembly.

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