Understanding Net-Zero

Understanding how we achieve a balance between what we omit and what we remove from the atmosphere is in ensuring we take away what we add and that what we add is no more than what we have removed – this is how Net-Zero is balanced.

By cutting greenhouse gas emissions as close to zero as is possible, and any remaining emissions to be re-absorbed into the atmosphere, by the likes of forests and oceans, we can in its simplest terms transform our environmental pledges, into commitments. By backing our pledges with action in a credible and sustainable way we can equally support a sustainable climate and humankind within it.

Why is Net-Zero Important to Us and Our Global Climate?

In order to preserve Earth and all that lives within it, science shows that global temperatures need to be limited to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. As it stands within our present day, Earth is 1.1 degrees warmer than it was back in the 1800s and our emissions are continuing to rise.

The Paris Agreement , which tackles climate change and its negative impacts, as agreed in 2015 at the breakthrough COP21, states that we need to reduce our emissions by around 45% by 2030 in order to reach Net-Zero by 2050.

Although a tall order and a challenge it is possible to transform how we produce, consume and move within Earth as a collective and targeted cooperation with solutions procured in a coordinated way — supporting developing countries to mitigate change, challenges and to adapt to the impact climate change will continue to have upon our environments.

Long-term consolidated goals are set to review the commitments of countries every 5 years and the agreement is a legally binding international treaty to all member states who have joined.

The framework of the agreement guides our global efforts and marks a shift towards Net-Zero emissions, which is also essential in order to also achieve SDGs (sustainable development goals) .

The Paris Agreement & Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

The UK NDC commitment includes reducing its economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 68% by 2030, compared to its 1990 levels according to the published contributions updated as of September 2022 (presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy by Command of His Majesty).

The Paris Agreement stipulates that each member country has to submit NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions). Essentially this is an action plan which is updated to communicate what action each country will take and how they will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) along with how they will build resilience from the impacts of temperature increases.

The Paris Agreement takes stock of these goals, which is due for its first in 2023, and will seek to assess progress and to add further improvements, which will look to formulate longer-term strategies, that will actively look to reduce global warming to the recommended 1.5 Degrees Celsius.

Although these strategies are not mandatory like the NDC commitments they form an operational effort to better support implementation and practical action. The key principles of The Paris Agreement are:

1) To limit the temperature rise to 1.5C as agreed.

2) To review the commitments of each member country in reducing emissions every 5 years.

3) And to provide finance to developing countries to enable them to build resilient communities and infrastructure that counteracts and negates the impact of climate change.

It was also agreed that the UK would strengthen its alignment with The Paris Agreement temperature goals. Thereby aligning with best practices looking at, the science, expectations, The Glasgow Climate pact and existing 2050 Net-Zero commitments, along with energy security and evidential advice from the Climate Change Committee and other independent commentators.

Achieving and Understanding the Importance of Net-Zero Sustain Quality

Climate Reflections, Transparency, Support & Other Bodies

The United Kingdom upon reflection has decided to strengthen transparency and understanding as well as clarity with its NDCs, specifically to update: the clarity of delivery, implementation of delivery, updating progress and our approach to level up — which includes growth in green skills across genders, public engagement, Just Transition and how as a country we support other countries deliver their NDCs.

The Global Reporting Org states that meeting the Paris Agreement goals takes a concerted effort of continued action. Not solely reserved for governments but for organisations, society, investors and businesses too. Looking at how to address climate change will play a vital role in managing collective contributions to the agreement and therefore reducing emissions, adapting to climate change and reaching Net-Zero goals.

It’s the transparent actions of policy makers and businesses that will engage and determine good practice and the achievement of target goals with placed recommendations from the independent GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and the environmental disclosure system, not for profit, CDC (originally known as the Carbon Disclosure Project).

It’s the transparent actions of policy makers and businesses that will engage and determine good practice and the achievement of target goals with placed recommendations from the independent GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) and the environmental disclosure system, not for profit, CDC (originally known as the Carbon Disclosure Project).

Supporting Climate Targets: Aligned Efforts & Reductions for Sustained Change

With aligned and clear efforts of reductions within the private and public sectors at a national level, maximised impact can be created and strategies adopted. For example, tracking and monitoring processes with GRI and CDC Standards and collecting, establishes the progression of businesses and organisations — where guidance can be tailored to specific sectors, opening up the channels of communication through dialog that promotes further opportunity for continual and sustained change.

For businesses, aligning operations and sustainable objectives to national targets presents an opportunity for organisations to evaluate gaps and needs relevant to each sector.  Therefore, assisting in impacting business decisions, cooperative operations and investments that are reflective of climate targets. An example of this could be, in using Science-Based Targets to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees and looking at innovative solutions through research and development to benefit business, society and communities, as well as positive national contributions towards targets, green growth and Net-Zero Goals.

At Sustain Quality our standards work alongside those of the Carbon Trust and Climate Active initiatives to expertly guide and support clients towards management of greenhouse gas and carbon emissions, and look to align businesses and organisations towards future targets and strategies as an advisory partner committed and dedicated to assisting our clients towards decarbonisation and accelerating Net-Zero.

Contact us for advice, strategies, solutions, & compliance towards your business and organisational operations to meet climate standards, accreditations and programmes.

Aiming to powerfully impact our communities and environments with sustainably supported change & positive climate solutions.