Carbon Neutrality: meaning and why it’s important
As the IPCC defines it, carbon neutrality can be described as the state where the net anthropogenic CO2 emissions are balanced globally by anthropogenic CO2 removals over a specified period1.
In other words, to achieve carbon neutrality the CO2 emissions produced worldwide have to be balanced by an equal amount of carbon removal (practice which is commonly referred to as carbon offsetting), so that the net impact on the environment is equal to zero.
It is an ambitious goal, challenged by the latest global developments - such as Covid-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine - which have surely decreased the speed of the process. Nonetheless, achieving carbon neutrality within 2050 is crucial to comply with what was established by the Paris Agreement, adopted by 196 parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris and in force since 2016.