If dangerous climate change is to be avoided, there is an immediate need for action towards emissions reductions.
Atmospheric emissions data shows that we are stumbling into a global crisis; greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to rise, reaching record highs in 2019 and, unless drastic measures are taken to decarbonise our global systems, we are going to substantially miss the 1.5°C global warming target, established under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The consequences are plain to see; sea ice is melting at an alarming rate with the Arctic warming at twice the global average, severe weather events across the world are becoming ever more frequent and global warming is likely to be the greatest cause of species extinctions this century.
To avoid this global crisis, change must happen and must happen quickly. The good news is that organisations are beginning to take action, with companies throughout the UK now ‘aligning’ themselves with the net zero commitment made by the government. In recent months there has been no shortage of companies publishing ambitious net zero targets but what does this actually mean?
At its most basic level, net zero means balancing the GHG emissions emitted in the atmosphere with those removed from the atmosphere over a period of time. Achieving it is key if we are to prevent continued global warming and the sooner we achieve it, the greater our chances of limiting global warming to below 1.5°C.
There is, however, a lot of ambiguity over what it actually means in a corporate context. This is not helped by the fact that there is still no clear definition of what net zero actually is or what level of decarbonisation is required to qualify as net zero. This means that there is significant variation in the scale of ambition of what organisations are actually committing to doing when they make a net zero commitment. While it is positive to see such commitments being made, it is vital that the final definition, framework, principles and guidelines are as robust and consistent as possible if net zero targets are going to be transparent, reliable and ultimately deliver on their promise.
In this inaugural episode of Avieco Answers, CEO Ben Murray and Principal Consultant Dan Murray tackle some of the complexities behind net zero and discuss the most frequently asked questions that our sustainability experts encounter when speaking to clients and the wider market.
The world of sustainability is changing rapidly – it can be hard to grasp which trends will have the greatest impact on your industry. For this reason, we have created Avieco Answers: a series of videos that go to the heart of the sustainability topics that are relevant to you. From science-based targets to zero waste, our experts will share their insights on sustainability’s most pressing issues, and explain how they might impact your business and your sector.
Tell us more about the sustainability challenges you’re experiencing by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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