What is Net Zero?

Net Zero refers to a state when the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted into the atmosphere does not outweigh the amount that is removed from the atmosphere.

The term Net Zero is important because – for carbon dioxide (CO2) at least – this is the state at which global warming stops. The Paris Agreement underlines the need for Net Zero, requiring all supporting countries to ‘achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions (produced by human activity) by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century’.

In the UK, there is a legal target to achieving Net Zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Globally, governments, businesses and individuals must work together to ensure our input and output is balanced, to limit the impact of global warming and climate change.

What is the difference between Net Zero and Carbon Neutral?

Organisations can become Carbon Neutral by measuring and offsetting their GHG emissions by purchasing carbon credits. The organisation must purchase enough credits to compensate for the same amount of CO2 that they emit, and the credits are generated from environmental projects that remove or reduce the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. 

To achieve Net Zero, an organisation must make changes to their operations and processes to reduce their CO2 emissions as much as possible, and offset any remaining emissions as a last resort. 

Which is better?

Becoming a Carbon Neutral organisation means you can take immediate climate action and outwardly demonstrate your commitment to sustainability. Although carbon offsetting helps to fund important environmental projects, this is not a long-term solution to climate change. 

Net Zero is the internationally agreed upon goal for mitigating global warming. It requires long-term and sustained changes to reduce emissions, driven by the latest climate science. Effectively, when all organisations and countries achieve permanent Net Zero CO2 emissions, climate change stops. 

Speak to our teams about how we can help you navigate your way to Carbon Neutrality and a Net Zero future.

Learn more about Net Zero at https://netzeroclimate.org/what-is-net-zero/