Carbon Pincer Chart Shows Net Zero is Easier Than Many Expect (4)

By Mathew Carr

April 4, 2022 — This chart shows that by cutting emissions of heat-trapping gas and boosting sinks, the world could in theory get to net zero by 2030.

Forest protection / enhancement, better soil management, ocean programs and carbon capture projects can be boosted as “sinks”: ie they can absorb more CO2 equivalent out of the atmosphere as mankind continues to spill it there.

It doesn’t look like happening, yet the opportunity from carbon credits and sinks is wildly misunderstood, CarrZee and some scientists reckon.

Perhaps the IPCC will shed light on this later today.

In the proxy chart, sinks are boosted by 11 billion tons by 2030 to 43 billion tons while emissions of CO2 equivalent are cut by 6 billion tons to 43 billion tons in the same 2022-2030 period. Emissions right now are about 49 billion per year.

This takes the world from a deficit of 17 billion tons per year of climate action to effective net zero.

NOTE: these figures have considerable uncertainty

(Adds source charts, earlier adds per year, updates chart, more to come)

Yearly Climate-Action Deficit Drops to Zero

Source: Various, including: Xu et al. 2021, Verra’s Candace Vinke, Peter Ellis @ Nature Conservancy, Jason Fink, CarrZee

NOTES: My contacts don’t get the blame for the chart above, but they did help inspire it. See below.

To extrapolate CO2 from carbon, multiply by 3.7

Verra, a registry operator for carbon credits, reckons the permanence of carbon reductions created in emission-credit programs needs to be enhanced and it will be.

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