Net Zero Emissions
4 May 2023
While the global consensus is that we must reach net zero by 2050, this does not agree with the science and the scales are getting more and more out of balance. This has resulted in increasingly catastrophic weather events, significant environmental damage, and threats to our food chain, our health, security and economy.
- We must cut our emissions by 75% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2035 to avoid disastrous climate consequences.
- Net zero targets mean little without a concrete plan to cut emissions quickly this decade.
- Net zero can be achieved at many levels – household, community, metropolitan, corporate, state and country.
- It is at the corporate, state and country levels that the greatest impacts will be felt.
- To reach net zero, there must be no new or expanded fossil fuel (FF) projects – coal, oil or gas. These are the main contributors to GHG emissions.
- We need to rapidly phase out the existing FF industry and transition to 100% renewable energy, which is cheaper and sustainable well into the future. This must include a just and fair transition for workers in the sector.
- While economies will continue to need some FFs for essential activities where no replacement is yet available, the transition must take place and as quickly as possible. Alternatives to FFs are cheaper in the long run and create more jobs.
- Transition plans exist to do this, and they are achievable, but strong political drive is needed.
- The cost of inaction (economic, human, social, environmental) greatly exceeds the cost of transition.
Net Zero is not an end point. Once we stop emitting greenhouse gases, we still need to deal with all the emissions we’ve already pumped into the atmosphere over the years.
Achieving Net Zero emissions is critical for us, for the environment, and life as we know it.
The lion’s share of emissions cuts must occur this decade if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. A net zero target is also fundamentally incompatible with new FF development. All gas, oil and coal expansion must stop.