It’s all the rage for companies, states and countries to make carbon neutral pledges. “Zero carbon” seems to roll off the tongues of kids like “brushing teeth.” Fortunately, kids’ wise parents know that teeth brushing is only one component of health, along with exercise, diet, sleep and the like. The same goes for carbon neutral. It is only one component of a healthy planet, along with water, air, land and the like. Should carbon neutral be the singular measure of planetary health, warranting government market interventions and trillions of dollars of taxpayer money? Probably not.
Japan aims to eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles in about 15 years, the government said Friday in a plan to achieve Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s ambitious pledge to go carbon free by 2050 and generate nearly $2 trillion growth in green business and investment
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson tabled new legislation today that would force current and future federal governments to set binding climate targets to get Canada to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “Just like with COVID-19, ignoring the risks of climate change isn’t an option,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That approach would only make the costs higher and the long-term consequences worse. Canadians have been clear — they want climate action now.”
“2021 must be the year of a great leap towards carbon neutrality,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General to a virtual gathering of influential leaders on Monday. “Every country, city, financial institution and company should adopt plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050.” “By early 2021, countries representing more than 65 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and more than 70 per cent of the world economy are very likely to have made ambitious commitments to carbon neutrality,” he said. “The signal this sends to markets, institutional investors and decision-makers is clear. Carbon should be given a price. We must shift the tax burden from income to carbon, from taxpayers to polluters.” He added that financial reporting on exposure to climate risks should be made mandatory, while authorities must integrate the carbon neutrality goal into economic and fiscal policies in order to truly transform industry, agriculture, transportation and the energy sector.
Although more Governments and businesses are committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the world is still falling far short of that goal, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday in his latest push for a cleaner, greener future.
Mr. Guterres reported that so far, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea, along with more than 110 other countries, have made the pledge, while China is set to join them by 2060.
In an exciting move of bold leadership and progressive climate action, Japan is aiming to cut greenhouse gases to zero by 2050 and become a carbon-neutral society. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made the announcement on Monday, stating “Responding to climate change is no longer a constraint on economic growth.”
China’s surprise pledge to reach “carbon neutrality” before 2060, made by president Xi Jinping at this week’s UN General Assembly, means that more than one sixth of the world’s population – and around a third of its CO2 output – has, overnight, been committed to net-zero emissions within 40 years. Using Cambridge Econometrics’ E3ME macroeconomic model to analyse the implications of the pledge, reveals this move could cut global warming this century by 0.25C and raise the country’s GDP; however, it requires China’s CO2 emissions to fall rapidly.