The goal (more than ever necessary) of the net-zero emissions transition

That climate change has become a global issue requiring targeted, urgent and unprecedented action is now clear to everyone. But we also know very well that the action of governments and institutions cannot be enough: this means that the private sector can really play a priority role in the fight against climate change, concentrating the activities of reducing emissions in low cost options and in the conscious choice of financing in line with the company's objectives and mission.

In order to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C - a threshold suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - achieving carbon neutrality by the middle of the 21st century is essential. This goal was also established by the Paris Climate Agreement, signed by 195 countries, including the European Union.

And it is precisely the European Union, now two years ago, that declared the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050: the European Commission presented for the first time in 2018 a long-term strategic vision to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrating how Europe can in fact pave the way for climate neutrality and foster the transition to a zero-emission economy.

The latest scientific research shows us that to avoid the worst climatic impacts, GHGs emissions will not only have to be reduced by half by 2030, to achieve the net-zero emissions target around the middle of the century: the IPCC notes that if the world were able to achieve zero net emissions a decade earlier, so by 2040, the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5 ° C would be considerably higher.

Without achieving the net-zero emissions objective, i.e. balancing the net greenhouse gas emissions produced by man and absorbed / removed, the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere will continue to rise, making it impossible to combat global warming.

There is still a long way to go for the transition to be possible and concrete, so far many efforts have been undertaken but not yet sufficient to combat climate change, absolutely a large-scale transformation is needed to drastically reduce emissions and keep temperatures rising global below 1.5 ° C.

The pressure from investors and consumers for an effective and long-term climate action also increases exponentially, a trend that reflects the growing number of organizations that in recent years have been committed to reducing their emissions and implementing a mitigation strategy in line with your business.

The campaign launched by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the occasion of World Environment Day, "Race to zero" dates back to last month, June 2020. A global initiative created to encourage the containment and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and to give impetus in the transition to a decarbonised economy, especially in view of the next COP26 where the centrality of carbon neutrality has been reaffirmed.

Instead, another initiative was launched a few days ago that features some of the most important international companies, including Microsoft, Starbucks and Nike, to encourage the business transformation necessary to achieve zero net emissions by 2050. It is called "Transform to Net Zero initiative" and will be a guide for the private sector to make the process that sees companies set ambitious targets for climate change mitigation able to favor the net-zero emissions transition easier and more usable.

Committing oneself to achieving a low-carbon economy and implementing an ad hoc strategy to combat climate change is no longer just an opportunity for businesses, but is increasingly becoming a matter of competitiveness.

The commitment of the companies is therefore growing significantly, as demonstrated by other initiatives launched during this year, such as the "CEO Carbon Neutral Challange", launched by the CEO of the Italian company Gucci, which urgently addressed the managers of companies other sectors to tackle the problem of the environment immediately; the "Fashion Pact", which brings together, in a collective project to safeguard the planet, some of the most important fashion companies in the world.

Not only collective initiatives in recent years, individual initiatives have also intensified, of companies that have decided to publicly declare their commitment in the fight against climate change to achieve mid-century climate neutrality: from Microsoft to Apple, from Kering to Unilever, the private sector is understanding the leading role it can play in the net-zero emissions transition.

The goal (more than ever necessary) of the net-zero emissions transition