The world is experiencing the impacts of climate change more than ever with historic droughts and wildfires, storms and flooding, and record heatwaves. The repercussions of climate change are far reaching and put many species and habitats at risk. Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions goals are essential to mitigating climate change and its impacts.
Net-zero emissions means that the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere is balanced by the amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere. Benefits of achieving net zero include:
There is a growing global movement to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This movement includes governments, businesses, and individuals from all over the world. Some of the key global movements and goals related to net-zero emissions include:
As more organizations commit and more stringent guidelines are set to meet these goals, governments around the world have begun setting deadlines. Under President Joe Biden, the United States has set a goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030, to achieve 100% carbon pollution-free electricity (clean power) by 2035, and to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
When setting net-zero goals and implementing sustainable and regenerative practices in general, there are a variety of important terms to understand:
Achieving the Goals
As noted in The Long-Term Strategy of the United States for Pathways to Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050, limiting greenhouse gas emissions requires four pillars including federal leadership, non-federal leadership, innovation, and all-of-society action. Efforts from federal leadership may include investments and incentives that support clean technologies and policies for all sectors. The U.S. Federal system shares power with governments at subnational levels (non-federal leadership). Due to this, climate action is shared to improve the U.S. emissions trajectory to complement national policies and can provide a broader base for leaving and accelerating action.
New technologies will be critical to providing the foundations to maximize the economic benefits of decarbonization goals. Additionally, it will take action by society as a whole through innovation, creativity, and diversity to support the transition to reach sustainability goals.
Considerations for Decarbonization
There are a number of considerations for decarbonization in commercial projects. By considering these factors, you can help to decarbonize your commercial projects and reduce your carbon footprint. This will benefit both the environment and your bottom line.
Incentives for Decarbonization
There are a variety of incentives available to support decarbonization efforts. These incentives can come from the government, businesses, and other organizations. One of the most comprehensive sources of information on renewable and energy efficiency incentives is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). DSIRE allows users to search for incentives by type, state, technology, implementing sector, and eligible sector.
Tax credits are also available for efforts which make homes more efficient with a “Clean Energy Tax Credits for Consumers.” The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provides opportunities for consumers to save money when purchasing both new and used vehicles electric, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles..
Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is essential to mitigating climate change and its impacts. It will require a concerted effort from all sectors of society. By acting now, we can create a cleaner and more sustainable future for all.
Henderson Knows Sustainability
Our pledge is to lead regenerative and innovative design for a brighter, cleaner future. Henderson’s sustainability mission is to establish a regenerative mindset within our operations and design practice to realize solutions that restore, renew, and replenish sources of energy and materials while benefiting employees, clients, communities, and global ecological systems. Click here to learn more about our sustainable and regenerative design practices.
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