“The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” So begins the European Union’s website on long-term climate action. Just since late September, East Asia’s three big powers, China, Japan, and South Korea, have joined in this goal – 2050 for the latter two, 2060 for China, whose 15th five-year plan will be public any day now with specifics. And President-elect Joe Biden has said he wants to make the US carbon neutral..
These goals, of course, are both very ambitious and essential. For a primer on how they evolved, who shares them, how rigorous or leaky they might be, and what they might mean on the ground, read these fine pieces.
- “Net Zero: The Story of the Target that Will Shape our Future … and the ‘Lionesses’ Who Changed the Way We Measure Climate Ambition.” (Megan Darby, Climate Change News)
- “What Does ‘Net-Zero Emissions’ Mean? 6 Common Questions, Answered.” (Kelly Levin and Chantal Davis, World Resources Institute
- “What China’s Plan for Net-Zero Emissions by 2060 Means for the Climate.” (Barbara Finamore, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Guardian)
- For a look at what carbon neutrality might mean on the ground in a specific place, see this story about what would need to change in London, and what that city’s future might look like. (Francesca Perry, BBC)
- Finally, to track who is pledging what (and how they’re doing), see “Which Countries Have a Net Zero Carbon Goal?” (Megan Darby and Isabelle Gerretsen, Climate Change News, regularly updated)
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.