A United Nations report suggests that the Earth needs to be carbon neutral by the years 2055 to 2077 in order to avoid the most serious consequences of climate change. The target years are notably much earlier than 2100, the reported target year of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Emissions Gap Report, which was published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in November 2014 and based on a study that looked at the gap between the current trajectory of emissions and scientific assessments of reductions needed to prevent the catastrophic impact of a warming world, did not only suggest that emissions should be net neutral by 2055-2070. It also said that emissions should be net negative after this period.

A negative carbon emission in the second half of the century could mean tapping on technologies such as carbon capture and storage. A controversial means of intervening with the climate in order to bring down the temperature, known as geoengineering, may also be resorted to.

Ideas for the yet unproven process include the use of artificial tress to absorb carbon dioxide and using aircraft to spray sulphur particles at high altitude in order to achieve the similar cooling effects associated with volcanoes.

The UNEP report, however, has enumerated several actions that can be implemented to attain a zero carbon emission and this includes adjusting fuel prices through carbon taxes, reducing fossil fuel subsidies that amount to over $600 billion per year and adopting policies that will encourage innovative technologies.

Besides carbon, the report also pointed out that emissions of other heat-trapping greenhouse gases also need to be reduced to zero by 2080 to 2100. It likewise warned of the urgency of bringing the emissions to zero as delaying actions will have other unwanted impacts such as increased rates of reduction in global emissions, higher risks for economic disruption, more dependence on negative emission and lock-in of carbon-intensive infrastructure.

The goal is to limit global temperatures from rising to over 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels, which experts said could lead to the most devastating consequences of global warming. After the climate change meeting in Lima Peru late in 2014, the next best chance for world leaders to come up with a unified agreement to cut carbon emissions will be during the UN Climate Change Conference, which will be held in Paris on from Nov. 20 to Dec. 11 later this year.

"Experience shows that countries can make rapid progress in climate mitigation when they integrate climate policy into their core development strategy, lay out a long-term strategic vision, and build wide-ranging political support for those changes," the report reads.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.