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Not Zero: How an Irrational Target Will Impoverish You, Help China (and Won't Even Save the Planet)

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At a time when corporations need to come clean about their climate impact and shrink their carbon footprint, many are exploiting vague and misleading ‘net zero’ pledges to greenwash their brand while continuing with business as usual,” says Carbon Market Watch’s Executive Director Sabine Frank. For example, if tha does owt for nowt do it for thysen: if you do something for nothing do it for yourself. Despite the lacklustre overall performance of the featured corporations, some have shown leadership in some areas of climate action. Against all expectations, after decades of false starts and failures, the international community had finally agreed to do what it took to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1. Thus, EU policymakers must instate a complete prohibition on all claims of climate or environment-related neutrality or related variations, such as “carbon neutral”, “CO2 neutral”, “CO2 compensated”, “climate positive”, “net zero”, etc.

Retrofitting carbon scrubbers on existing power stations, building the infrastructure to pipe captured carbon, and developing suitable geological storage sites required huge sums of money. The term 'net zero' arises from the likelihood that whatever action we take, there will be some residual emissions which we need to deal with by removing carbon from the atmosphere. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average.In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, the country is crying out to end its dependence on expensive fossil fuels. Not Zero: How ‘net-zero’ targets disguise climate inaction Joint technical briefing by climate justice organisations that demystifies and help debunk how corporations and countries are using 'net-zero' jargon to evade and delay real, transformative action toward Real zero.

A facility for capturing carbon dioxide from air on the roof of a waste incinerating plant in Hinwil, Switzerland July 18, 2017.

Instead of accepting “net zero” targets at face value, civil society and media must scrutinise these announcements to assess whether they signify real climate action. By contrast, agroecology offers new possibilities for socio-ecological transformation and can contribute to tackling climate change in a safe way. Carbon capture and storage offered the twist that instead of using the carbon dioxide to extract more oil, the gas would instead be left underground and removed from the atmosphere.

When assessing “net zero” targets, we must remember key questions of fairness and ethics: Whose land?Another example is James Bond's designation, 007, which is always read as "double-o seven", not "double-zero seven", "zero-zero seven", or "o o seven". Policy should be driven by unmassaged data and a realistic approach to technical feasibility and risk management. Clark shows that efforts to achieve the target will inevitably result in a huge hit to living standards, which will clobber the poorest hardest, and gift a massive geopolitical advantage to hostile superpowers such as China and Russia.

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