Scientific evidence that net zero emissions were required to halt global climate change greatly simplified international policy negotiations and allowed the establishment of a global net zero target. Governments have already committed to net zero as a policy goal by ratifying the Paris Agreement.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's special report Global Warming of 1.5 ºC provided further evidence on the middle of the century date for achieving Net ero that has been picked up by policy targets.
There are various global initiatives or coalitions, which are grouping countries, regions and cities towards net zero goals. Remarkably, a new report from the think tank ECIU shows that 49 percent of global GDP is already covered by cities, states, and provinces, and countries that either have net zero targets or are working toward them. Here we list most of the net zero policy initiatives, providing visibility to their ambition and leadership. The surge of net zero targets shows that we are increasingly aware of just how much we need to do to stop climate change. The jurisdiction and businesses getting on board should be applauded. But we are also holding them accountable, offering suggestions for a common understanding of net zero pledges for governments and cities.
These four principles should be applied to design credible net zero plans:
There must be comprehensive accounting for all emissions of greenhouse gases
Continued effort on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases
Permanent removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to offset any remaining emissions
A clear plan to achieve Net Zero by mid-century, with actions starting now.