The concern about the climate situation and sustainability is more relevant than ever today. Various sectors of the industry are making efforts to improve various aspects of their production processes in order to achieve a pollution-free environment.
From this idea arises the concept of carbon neutrality, an initiative born out of the need to reduce the presence of this gas in the atmosphere, which is one of the primary contributors to the greenhouse effect. To understand what carbon neutrality means and what measures are being taken to combat climate change, we invite you to keep reading this post, where we will provide you with all the information you need.
What is carbon neutrality?
Before delving into carbon neutrality, it’s necessary to explain some details about the concept known as the “carbon footprint.” This refers to the total measure of greenhouse gases generated by various human activities, whether they are economic or everyday in nature.
Understanding this value is of paramount importance as it enables the implementation of measures and programs to reduce the presence of carbon in the atmosphere. In this regard, the carbon neutrality plan plays a significant role.
Carbon neutrality, as defined by the European Parliament, is achieved when the same amount of carbon dioxide emitted is removed from the atmosphere. Various methods are employed to accomplish this, which aid in creating a balance, essentially leaving a net zero footprint.
As previously mentioned, there are many ways to attain this balance. One of the most effective strategies is not to produce more carbon dioxide than can be naturally absorbed by plants and trees. They function as a kind of carbon sink because photosynthesis allows them to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
However, it is worth noting that reducing carbon dioxide production is no simple task. Therefore, at the end of 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres from Portugal, laid out some guidelines for achieving carbon neutrality on a large scale. These guidelines are as follows:
- Forming a global coalition in favor of carbon neutrality by the year 2050.
- Aligning the global economy with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Achieving significant progress in terms of adaptation and resilience to climate change.
According to Guterres, every city, country, company, and financial institution must adopt plans to transition towards zero carbon emissions.
Carbon neutrality goals
Experts gathered at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assert that carbon neutrality can be achieved by the year 2050, effectively reducing global warming to 1.5°C. However, they emphasize that fulfilling this objective requires both political and societal changes.
Recently, the United Nations made statements setting short-term objectives concerning carbon neutrality. These objectives include:
- Establishing a cost for carbon emissions to facilitate investments in their elimination, alongside the development of low-emission renewable energy sources.
- Phasing out the construction of coal-fired power plants, which are responsible for a significant portion of carbon dioxide emissions.
- Promoting awareness and disclosure regarding climate-related financial risks.
- Incorporating carbon neutrality goals into the economic and fiscal policies of countries
What is the automotive industry doing to reduce CO2 emissions?
In order to address the issues caused by the carbon footprint, the automotive sector has set out to implement various measures. Emissions from cars and trucks are major contributors to total carbon dioxide emissions.
As a result, the automotive industry is currently following the directives of the European Commission, which compile guidelines developed to minimize these emissions into the atmosphere. Some of these principles are directly aimed at enhancing the efficiency of transportation systems.
Given that the transportation habits in Europe are not conducive to sustainability, implementing alternative energy sources may hold the key to achieving carbon neutrality.
This is precisely why electric vehicles are being developed, as they do not produce carbon dioxide. Additionally, improvements in the efficiency of internal combustion engines have been introduced, enabling them to use less fuel to cover the same distances.
Furthermore, in recent years, research into the use of alternative fuels has begun to yield results. Among the top contenders as replacements for gasoline are hydrogen and biofuels, both of which can help reduce CO2 emissions.
At Walter Pack, we are committed to sustainability and preserving our environment. That’s why we participate in various projects aimed at making the automotive industry a sustainable sector.