Net-Zero Heroes – Can We Really Get There By 2050?

It’s not unusual for people to assume that what is happening in their local community (or country) is representative of what is also happening in the rest of the world.  We see it, and so it’s real to us.  Yet to truly grasp the broader picture, we more often need to look beyond our own daily lives and regular sources of information.  So when we weigh the probability of actually achieving a net-zero world – a necessary condition to avoid the worst effects of a warming planet – we should do so with that same perspective.

Here in Canada, we continue to struggle in our efforts to reign in our domestic  GHG emissions.  But looking beyond our borders may offer a more optimistic perspective.  How India fares in it’s effort to reach net-zero may arguably determine whether our entire planet is capable of achieving net-zero.  Results from a PwC survey of corporates in India, reported yesterday in the Economic Times, indicate that half of the companies surveyed had made net-zero commitments, and encouragingly half of those had targeted achieving net-zero by 2030.  It is worth noting that among the 16 G20 countries with net-zero targets, 12 use a 2050 target date, Germany uses 2045, and both China and Indonesia use 2060.  India targets 2070.

That said, corporate India appears to be taking on the challenge.  Of course a 75% or 100% commitment would be better than a 50% commitment at this point in time.  Having the majority of those commitments vetted by the Science-based Target Initiative (SBTi) would be better still.  But the survey results provide some constructive indicators on progress being made in the global net-zero effort.  And that’s welcome news, particularly from my chair here in Canada.

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