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Current Affairs

Net zero carbon targets

Date: 05 August 2021 Tags: Climate Change

Issue

Net zero carbon targets announced by many countries is not likely to cut global carbon emission, according to Oxfam.

 

Background

Oxfam has released a report named “Tightening the Net” prior to the UN climate talks in Glasgow.

 

Details

Oxfam says that net zero carbon targets will result in 80 percent rise in prices of food leading to hunger crisis. Private companies and rich countries will keep doing their usual business.

 

Countries announcing net zero targets

  • New Zealand had announced its intention of cutting carbon emission in 2019. It also passed an act called Zero Carbon Act to ensure zero carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner.

  • UK has also passed legislation to cut its carbon emissions by 100 percent relative to 1990 levels by the year 2050.

  • The US also committed to reduce its carbon emissions by atleast 50 percent by 2030 from the 2005 levels. The country has also launched an organization called World War Zero to bring together countries for net-zero carbon emissions in the country by 2050.

  • European Union recently launched “Fit for 55” plan that aims to cut carbon emissions by 55 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.

  • China has committed to become a net zero carbon emitter by year 2060. It is planning to prevent its peak emissions after the year 2030.

 

Net zero

  • Net zero is also known as carbon neutral. It does not mean that carbon emissions will be zero. Instead the carbon emitted will be balanced by removing or absorbing same amount from atmosphere.

  • Carbon can be removed through creation of carbon sinks. Forests are the largest carbon sinks but now they have started to become carbon emitters.

 

The Oxfam report

  • The report says that if carbon would be removed only by planting trees, it would require 1.6 billion hectares to be planted to reach the targets by 2050.

  • The current plans given by countries would only lead to 1 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.