A safe future for all depends on more net zero actions
The latest report from the Climate Crisis Advisory Group (CCAG), an independent group of 15 experts from 11 nations, including authorities in climate science, carbon emissions, energy, environment, and natural resources warns that reaching zero net emissions (net zero) of greenhouse gases by 2050 will be “a little too late”.
That goal, according to the document, will not meet the long-term temperature goals identified in the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C by the end of the century.
Based on findings recently published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, the CCAG claims that current global emissions targets are inadequate and that net negative – rather than net zero (net zero) – strategies will be needed.
David King, CEO of CCAG, commented in a note that "achieving net zero by 2050 is no longer enough to guarantee a safe future for all humanity." According to him, it is necessary to review the global goals beyond net zero and commit to net negative strategies urgently.
Mercedes Bustamante, professor at the University of Brasília (UnB) and member of the CCAG, told EXAME that the next nine years until 2030 will be crucially decisive and will set in motion changes that will impact humanity during the next centuries, if not millennia. "Now is the time that we will determine if we can keep warming on the target of 'well below 2°C' and if possible 'limit to 1.5°C'."
She points out that the CCAG document warns that the next round of national emissions reduction commitments will have to expand efforts to ensure a safe future for all.
“It is even clearer that while reducing emissions is an essential part of
fight against climate change, it will not be enough to prevent the rise of the
sea level, permafrost thaw, event amplification of extreme climate events and other climate-related changes,” she says. "Following a path that leads to zero net emissions only in 2050 is too little and too late."
According to Mercedes, the rapid and immediate reduction of greenhouse gas emissions must be accompanied by equally quick actions to create carbon sinks around the world, to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible.
"Both public and private sectors must act in a coordinated, fast and effective way. Public climate policies are very important as well as the private sector commitment to providing and implementing solutions. These solutions must be transparent and monitored by governments and society so that their effectiveness can be verified.”