KWR Kees Roest by KWR Kees Roest
02 November 2018

Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

The world should work towards zero greenhousegas emissions as fast as possible. Is it possible to reach net zero emission by 2050? A new study by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) gives ideas about how to reach this goal. Besides rapid implementation of known approaches and technologies we need to focus more on how we operate as a society....

Can we get to net zero emissions? – Physics World

(Courtesy: iStock/ChrisGorgio) The European Commission has signalled that it is considering a “net zero” emissions goal and, in the UK, the Labour Party now has that as a key policy – net zero by 2050 rather than the current 80% emissions cut target by 2050. What does net zero mean, and is it possible? The first part is easy. Net zero means that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions are reduced 100%, to zero, although some can be allowed if compensatory carbon negative processes are introduced, for example, air capture of carbon dioxide. How to achieve this is a bit more complex. The most obvious approach is not to produce any more carbon dioxide. In the energy sector that means using non-fossil energy sources, i.e. nuclear or renewables. However, neither is entirely carbon-free – at present we use fossil fuel to make the materials for the energy conversion technologies involved and, in the case of nuclear, to extract and process nuclear fuel. Nevertheless, they are both low-carbon options. In its new Green Transformation pamphlet, the Labour Party says it will use both nuclear and renewables to “ensure that 60% of the UK’s energy comes from low-carbon or renewable sources within 12 years...

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