You have probably heard the phrase ‘net zero’ thrown about by politicians, business leaders and some NGOs. Whilst ‘net zero emissions’ may sound very similar to ‘zero emissions’, they actually mean very different things and will have completely different consequences for our planet.
Several countries, including the UK, have now committed to achieving ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050. Whilst this far off date of 2050 is problematic in itself, it is also opening the door to a host of false solutions which allow corporations and governments to continue polluting, business as usual.
The target contains within it two linked, but very different measures to avert the climate crisis. The first is to cut emissions and stop emitting greenhouse gases in the first place. Sounds great I hear you say? Well the second part of the ‘net zero’ aim contains a loophole that can delay real climate action and drive land grabs. It relies on a host of technologies to remove atmospheric emissions described as risky, unproven and a dangerous distraction. These Negative Emission Technologies (NET) include biofuels, Carbon, Capture and Storage (CCS), and Bioenergy, Capture and Storage (BECCS).
These false solutions technologies have been leapt on by many of the largest polluters. Shell has pledged a 2050 net zero target, yet has also forecast to increase crude oil production by more than half and gas production by over a quarter by 2038. Heathrow airport also has a target for 2050, yet it continues to plan for a third runway and an increase in passenger flights. Both are legitimising their business as usual approach through promoting BECCS and Nature-Based Solutions, which so often drive land grabs and human rights abuses.
We need to fight for the right - and not just any - solutions if we are to effectively tackle the climate crisis. The danger with ‘net zero’ is that it turns into another way to allow corporate control of our planet. UKYCC believes that by learning about these false solutions and the damages they cause, we can challenge them together.
That is why we are super excited to be launching a brand new webinar series in collaboration with Biofuelwatch to give you a brief overview of some of these false solutions being promoted under the banner of ‘net zero’.
The first webinar on 23rd September will focus on Bioenergy, a specific type of geoengineering known as Bioenergy, Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), Nature-Based Solutions and Net-Zero Aviation.
Our second webinar on 29th September will focus on “Green” Flights, Gas, Nuclear & Incineration.
Sign up through the above Eventbrite links to reserve your spot and we look forward to seeing you there!