In 2019, the world released over 59 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, adding to the high and rising levels of CO2 already present.Footnote1 These emissions are changing the world’s climate and elevating average temperatures globally, according to a scientific consensus accepted by the 190 states that signed the 2015 Paris Agreement.Footnote2 The Agreement set a deadline to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the second half of the century, in order to limit global warming to 2.0 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average (while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees). In 2018, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that countries must bring carbon dioxide emissions to “net zero” by 2050 to keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels.
The effects of rising global temperatures pose huge risks to communities and the ecosystems on which their livelihoods depend. Limiting the damage and financial toll is now a central policy goal for many companies as well as countries. More and more investment is being channelled toward achieving net zero carbon emissions. To understand the scale of the task, consider
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