When it comes to climate policy, net zero is our lodestar — the goal for nations and companies alike. But with greenhouse gas emissions yet to peak and anti-climate sentiments rising, it’s worth examining whether, in our quest to balance the numbers, we’ve forgotten about our societies. Net zero is no doubt scientifically accurate and, happily, simple to understand — turning a complicated mass of industries, technologies and systems into one easy-to-understand equation: The greenhouse gases we pump out into the atmosphere must be balanced with what we draw down, most likely through a mix of restored natural ecosystems and high-tech engineered approaches, in order to fight climate change. To achieve that balance, it’s clear that we have to reduce emissions, by a lot.
While achieving net zero is absolutely essential, we’re currently at risk from straying from the original goal.
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