Carbon Neutrality is the condition in which a balance is reached between the amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere produced by human activities and the amount of CO2 that the planet can absorb and process, for example through plants.
Carbon Neutrality can therefore refer to the entire planet, to a country, to a company or to a single product or service by measuring its Carbon Footprint and evaluating the strategies on which to invest in order to achieve neutrality.
As we know, on a global scale carbon dioxide is the largest greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere whose growth, over time, is causing the Earth to overheat with the consequent climate changes that we are already experiencing and with events that gradually become more and more extremes (drought, intense heat waves, landslides, floods etc ...).
The removal of CO2 on our planet is entrusted to three large natural "reservoirs" capable of capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and processing it into other chemical compounds; these reservoirs better defined as sinks are oceans, forests and soil.
Their total absorption capacity is quantified around 9.5-11 Gt (gigatonnes) of CO2 per year, i.e. less than a third of the total amount of CO2 present in the atmosphere estimated in the pre-pandemic era. In 2019 the CO2 emitted was estimated at 38 Gt.
At the moment, there are no "artificial" tanks capable of capturing and disposing of excess carbon dioxide, so it is easy to understand the urgent need to reduce the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere by reducing emissions related to our activities in the first place.
In this regard, we often hear about "zero emissions" as a goal to achieve carbon neutrality.
In reality, it would be more appropriate to speak of "net zero emissions", as neutrality is not the total zeroing of emissions (which is unrealistic as a residue of emissions related to company activities is inevitable), but rather neutrality is the equivalence between how much we emit and how much can be absorbed by the Earth system.
Achieving carbon neutrality means eliminating the impact due to CO2.
The reduction of emissions of carbon compounds into the atmosphere is mainly achieved through a greater use of renewable energy and clean technologies.
At the same time, initiatives aimed at combating deforestation and encouraging the planting of trees to reinvigorate existing woods and forests and to create new ones are multiplying.
In the latter case, it is good to know that the more a forest is located in the tropical belt and is rich in biodiversity, the greater its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide.
Europe has expressed its ambition to become the first continent to reach Carbon Neutrality in the mid-21st century and this goal is indicated in the European Green Deal.
The Green Deal is the plan presented by the European Union in 2019 according to which Europe will reduce emissions by 60% by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050.