[Study] Net zero: science, origins, and implications

“Using simple conceptual models of the coupled climate–carbon cycle system, we explain why approximately net zero CO2 emissions and declining net energy imbalance due to other climate drivers are required to halt global warming on multidecadal timescales, introducing important concepts, including the rate of adjustment to constant forcing and the rate of adjustment to zero emissions. 

“We argue that what matters here is not the precise makeup of a basket of emissions and removals at any given point in time, but the sustainability of a net zero strategy as a whole and its implications for global temperature over multidecadal timescales. Durable, climate-neutral net zero strategies require like-for-like balancing of anthropogenic greenhouse gas sources and sinks in terms of both origin (biogenic versus geological) and gas lifetime.”

Citation: Allen, Myles R., Pierre Friedlingstein, Cécile AJ Girardin, Stuart Jenkins, Yadvinder Malhi, Eli Mitchell-Larson, Glen P. Peters, and Lavanya Rajamani. “Net zero: science, origins, and implications.” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 47 (2022): 849-887.