Last updated:
May 24, 2024

Carbon Neutrality

What is Carbon Neutrality?

Carbon neutrality is the state in which carbon dioxide emissions produced by human activities are neutralised by an equal amount of carbon dioxide being removed from the atmosphere, leading to a net-zero impact on the environment. Achieving carbon neutrality involves a combination of reducing emissions through more sustainable practices, along with removing emissions through nature-based or engineered solutions.

What is the Difference between Carbon Neutral and Carbon Negative?

  • Carbon Neutral: This status is achieved when the amount of CO2 a company emits is neutralised by the amount it removes or avoids, resulting in a net zero carbon footprint.
  • Carbon Negative and Climate Positive: These terms are synonymous, indicating that a company removes more CO2 from the atmosphere than it emits, thereby contributing positively to climate mitigation.

What is the Difference Between Carbon Neutral, Climate Neutral and Net Zero?

  • Climate Neutral broadens the scope beyond CO2 to include all greenhouse gases (GHGs), addressing a wider array of emissions in climate mitigation strategies.
  • Net Zero represents a comprehensive approach, aiming to reduce all GHG emissions to the lowest achievable levels. Any remaining emissions are neutralised by equivalent removals, making it the most inclusive term for global climate action efforts.

Frameworks and Regulations for Carbon Neutrality

  • The European Climate Law, part of the European Green Deal, underscores the EU's commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050, highlighting the role of natural carbon sinks and the need for robust legislation to reduce emissions and enhance carbon sequestration.
  • The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) provides the world's most widely used greenhouse gas accounting standards.
  • The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) helps companies set emissions reduction targets in line with climate science.
  • ISO 14064 provides international standards for quantifying, monitoring, reporting, and verifying carbon emissions.
  • The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) encourages companies to disclose their environmental impact and strategies for managing climate change, water, and deforestation risks.

Examples of Carbon Neutral Companies

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