What Is Carbon Neutrality? And Why Is It Important?

carbon neutrality

The dangers of greenhouse gas emissions have increased exponentially over the years. Collectively the earth produces almost 50 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases every year via the greenhouse effect. The vast majority of the greenhouse gases produced is carbon dioxide. These high levels of carbon dioxide are primarily the result of the operations conducted by large coal, gas, and oil companies. 

As greenhouse gases bear the primary blame for visible climate change and global warming issues, it should come as no surprise that eradicating this effect has been the focus of a large portion of the scientific community. These efforts have led to the concept of carbon neutrality. In layman’s terms, carbon neutrality refers to the process of achieving carbon dioxide emissions of net-zero. 

In essence, this means that whatever carbon dioxide emissions a company releases into the atmosphere must be balanced by what is removed through the company’s actions. 


Why Is Carbon Neutrality Important? 

The importance of achieving and maintaining carbon neutrality in an effort to slow global warming and with it climate change has been emphasized by the Paris Agreement, which became effective on the 4th of November 2016. All 197 members of the United Nations Framework Convention have either signed or agreed to the agreement, including the two countries with the most significant carbon dioxide emissions. These two countries are the United States and China. 

The implementation of carbon neutrality is essential for the continuation of everyday life. The changes caused by global warming and climate change will affect not only humanity but also every other species on earth. The effects of global warming and climate change and their consequences include: 

Global Warming And Rising Sea Levels – The warming of the oceans has led to the melting of ice, contributing to the rising sea levels. In addition, the warmer climates have resulted in thermal expansion, which has also contributed to a rise in sea levels. Rising sea levels can have a devastating effect on human life with increased floodings, particularly in coastal areas. Rising sea levels can also lead to the contamination of farm areas and reservoirs with salt, ruining crops and drinking water. 

Climate Change And Air Pollution – There is a negative relationship between aspects of climate change and air pollution, leading to the further worsening of each other. The

warming of the atmosphere caused by climate change can often increase ground ozone levels in specific areas. Similarly, air pollutants can influence climate change by trapping or releasing heat at an increased rate. Due to the interaction between air pollution and climate change, these changes can increase allergens and make the air unhealthy to breathe. 

Other impacts that unregulated carbon emissions can cause are the extinction of vulnerable species due to the loss of habitats, increases in dangerous weather patterns, and higher death rates due to worsening air and water conditions. Therefore, carbon neutrality should be implemented as soon as possible to reduce the chances of global warming and climate change becoming a surety. 


How To Achieve Carbon Neutrality? 

Scientific organizations have outlined that businesses and residence must follow a three-step program to achieve carbon neutrality. First, the carbon emissions of services and products must be measured using a life cycle analysis to understand the emission levels fully. Once the carbon emission sources are identified, the second step is to reduce the identified emissions by using sustainable alternatives such as solar panels and purchasing from local suppliers to cut down on transport emissions. The final step is to offset any unavoidable carbon emissions.


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