NET ZERO TARGET (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Environment)

News-CRUX-10     1st July 2024        
output themes

Context: Three years after India declared its goal to become a net-zero economy by 2070, the policy design for achieving the target has begun, with the NITI Aayog forming dedicated multi-sectoral committees to prepare a transition plan.

Net-Zero Target

  • About: It refers to achieving carbon neutrality, where a country's greenhouse gas emissions are balanced by absorption and removal from the atmosphere.
  • Carbon Neutrality Clarification: Net-zero does not mean complete elimination of emissions but rather achieving a balance with offsetting measures.
  • Methods of Achieving Net Zero: Increasing carbon sinks like forests to enhance natural absorption.

oDeveloping advanced technologies like carbon capture and storage for direct removal of greenhouse gases.

  • Global Commitments: Over 70 countries have pledged to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 to combat climate change.

oEarly Adopters: Countries like the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, and New Zealand have committed to ambitious net-zero targets aligned with the Paris Agreement.

oGlobal Examples: Bhutan and Suriname are already carbon-negative due to their significant carbon absorption capabilities from forests and natural ecosystems.

  • India's Target: India aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070, as announced at the COP-26 summit.
  • Scope: Targets can refer to overall greenhouse gases or specifically to CO2 emissions, depending on national strategies and agreements like the UK Climate Change Act.

Negative Emissions

  • Nature-Based Solutions: Natural methods include reforestation and afforestation to increase CO2 absorption through plant growth.
  • Technological Solutions: Advanced technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and direct air capture are engineered to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.