‘Net zero’ is one of the biggest buzzwords in the country right now. Most people have heard of it, but few have a proper grasp of what the term means. The current government is committed to delivering net zero by 2050 but it’s still a contentious issue.
The recent record-breaking temperatures have us all on high alert for the impact of climate change. What’s the solution to climate change and the skyrocketing energy crisis? It’s net zero.
Renewable technologies, including battery storage and solar power, are crucial to achieving net zero. It’s the driving force behind tackling climate change and creating a reliable and sustainable energy market in the UK. At Green Switch Capital, we’re committed to doing our part in achieving net zero.
What is Net Zero?
Net zero is a term for when the carbon emissions created are balanced against or cancelled by the amount of carbon being taken from the atmosphere. It means that there is no excess carbon in the atmosphere. We’re not producing any more than what the atmosphere takes away.
When carbon emissions are produced, they create a blanket effect on our atmosphere. It causes the atmosphere to hold heat, resulting in the global rise in temperature. Greenhouse gas emissions played a role in the record-breaking 40-degree heat.
2019 saw the UK government legislate for a net zero policy. It enshrined a commitment to achieve net zero for all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Why We Need to Achieve Net Zero
Achieving net zero is the best way for the planet to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. We’re already living with the impact of climate change; rising temperatures, dangerous weather events, and food insecurity.
Excessive carbon emissions are causing the Earth’s temperature to rise. The only way we can “preserve a liveable planet”, according to the United Nations, is to reduce the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
1.5°C may sound achievable to maintain but the Earth is already 1.1°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. The Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015 to keep global temperatures below the 1.5°C threshold.
The research shows that the only way to prevent temperatures from passing the 1.5°C threshold is by reducing current carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. Hitting this marker by 2030 is vital to achieving net zero by 2050.
Net Zero and the Energy Sector
Transiting the global economy to net-zero won’t be easy. The UN has already called it “one of the greatest challenges humankind has faced”.
Most of the focus of net zero is on the energy industry. The energy sector, particularly fossil fuels, accounts for ¾ of greenhouse gas emissions. We must transition from the current energy system toward renewable energy to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.
We’ll need to reduce our reliance on oil, gas, and coal to drastically reduce carbon emissions in line with the 2050 net zero goal.
How to Achieve Net Zero
Achieving net zero won’t be easy. The 2050 goal of net zero isn’t enough in itself. Global greenhouse gas emissions are projected to increase by 2030 compared to their 2010 levels - even with current net-zero planning.
There are two ways to achieve net zero. The first is to remove carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere. Incentives like planting trees can help the atmosphere absorb more carbon dioxide and release extra oxygen in return.
Most of the proactive planning is happening within the second method – reducing the amount of carbon dioxide we’re putting into the atmosphere. It’s where renewable energy sources can help.
Solar and wind energy reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, particularly coal, which produces some of the highest levels of carbon emissions. Renewable energy is also known as ‘clean energy’ as it does not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
Net Zero vs. Zero Carbon
Another phrase you’ll hear used in the net zero conversation is ‘zero carbon’. The incentive of zero carbon is to create a system where no carbon emissions are being produced. Renewable energy, including battery storage, is one such solution.
Wind and solar energy do not produce carbon emissions. They, therefore, offer a zero-carbon solution for our energy needs. Switching to renewable energy means that we can run the country on zero-carbon electricity and produce a carbon-free system.
It’s worth noting that net zero and zero-carbon are not the same principle. Net zero seeks to balance the amount of carbon we produce with that which the atmosphere consumes. Removing the excess carbon prevents the blanket effect that is raising global temperatures.
While net zero is an overarching policy, zero-carbon is product or service specific. A product is zero-carbon when does not produce any carbon emissions. Wind energy is a zero-carbon service. If we want to achieve net-zero, we have to utilise zero-carbon solutions. Leasing your land for wind energy is an ideal way to play your part in tackling climate change.
Why We Need Zero Carbon to Achieve Net Zero
If we want to achieve net zero by 2050 and tackle the consequences of climate change, we need to embrace the potential of zero carbon.
Green Switch Capital is leading the way with our renewable energy solutions. Solar energy, wind energy, and battery storage all have a role to play in creating a zero-carbon electricity grid.
We all have a role to play in achieving net zero. Doing your part will help us protect the planet and even lower your energy bills in the process. At Green Switch Capital, we’ll help you play your part in achieving net zero while making a passive and regular income.
Leasing your land to Green Switch Capital will allow you to diversify your income stream with guaranteed and fixed payments. Solar energy is one of the keys to reducing carbon emissions by creating a zero-carbon grid.
Find out more about Green Switch Capital and how you can invest in everyone’s future by helping the UK reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Together, we can protect the planet we call home.