Climate science strongly links the warming of the climate to significant increases in the levels of greenhouse gas emissions1 in the atmosphere. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Report 6 (IPCC AR6), provides evidence that the increase in global surface temperature has been contributed to by human activity. So, to stabilise climate change, greenhouse gas emissions need to reduce.
In the Paris Agreement 2015, governments agreed to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. They recognised that this would significantly reduce the risk and impacts of climate change. The IPCC report on Climate Change in 2018 then stated that to achieve the Paris agreement target, global emissions needed to reach “Net Zero” by mid century (2050).
Net Zero is a balance between the GHG emissions produced and the GHG emissions taken out of the atmosphere. There are many sectors where it is possible to target zero emissions, however there are some sectors like aviation, and agriculture where it is difficult to reach zero emissions. Hence, there is a need to offset these emissions and take them out of the atmosphere.
Net Zero is not a call to divest from all energy companies. We want to encourage the companies that will provide us with a just transition to a low carbon future and we want to continue to invest in those companies that are moving into renewable and sustainable sources of energy