Know your Net Zero from your Carbon Neutral
People often use these two phrases interchangeably, but they mean very different things.
Net Zero is a target that many, including our Council, are working towards; it means cutting the amount of damaging greenhouse gases you emit to as near zero as possible, with carbon capture and offsetting dealing with any remaining emissions.
Carbon Neutral is a term that many associate with greenwashing; it means that you are continuing to generate damaging greenhouse gas emissions, but offsetting your carbon emissions with ‘carbon credits’. As large volumes of damaging gases like carbon are still emitted, this approach is much more damaging.
Carbon dioxide is the most significant greenhouse gas, contributing to global warming. By reducing the carbon we emit (decarbonisation) and capturing carbon from the atmosphere we reduce the impact it has on global temperatures. Other greenhouse gases (like methane) are often converted into their carbon equivalent – CO2e – for easy comparison.