Carbon neutrality and climate neutrality – same thing – right? No! Wrong!
Climate neutrality means that a product has no impact on climate, whereas carbon neutrality refers only to the impact on carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a result of a product being manufactured. Tomi Nyman, Chief Commercial Officer of Woodly, explains: “Climate neutrality requires evaluation of all different impact categories and the impact to climate must not be negative. Such impact categories include biodiversity, ozone depletion, eutrophication, acidification, marine, animal and human toxicity, abiotic depletion, particulate emissions, nitrous and sulphurous oxide emissions, water usage etc.”.
Climate Neutrality by 2050 is one of the EU objectives, set during a meeting of the European Council in 2019:“This means that between now and 2050, the EU will drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and find ways of compensating for the remaining and unavoidable emissions. Reaching a net-zero emissions balance will benefit people and the environment and will limit global warming.”
The European Green Deal, published in December 2019, sets out a number of proposals for the transformation of European society and economy and these proposals are now in the process of being turned into action.
Climate neutrality, impacts us all as citizens of Europe and of the world:
- The buildings where we live, work and relax must become more energy efficient
- Our means of travel, by road, air or sea, must be more “environmentally friendly”
- What we eat, and how that food is produced must change to consider the impact on air, soil, water and wildlife
- We must protect and develop our forests and other carbon sinks in a more sustainable way
- Our investment decisions and priorities should increasingly help sustainable and climate-friendly projects to develop
- We must continue to promote and develop circular economies to allow recycling or reuse of products and materials
However, carbon neutrality is only an interim phase on the road towards climate positive regenerative business solutions, which must be the ultimate goal for sustainable companies.