Net Zero Carbon


Recently, these three terms have taken over the whole of media attention including every news channel, internet, global meets, and scientific discussions. The importance of cutting down the level of greenhouse gas emissions has been recognized by the whole world. Various evidences confirm that the earth has become 1° hotter since the pre-industrial era. To maintain a liveable planet, the rise in global temperature needs to be slowed down urgently. The impact of even this 1° rise in temperature can be felt around the globe with the erratic weather patterns, extreme climatic conditions (floods, heatwaves, storms etc.), and rising sea levels.

COP26- The International Climate Conference was held in Glasgow in Oct-Nov 2021, whereby around 200 countries mutually agreed to work towards the net carbon zero goal by reducing greenhouse emissions and maintaining the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C till 2050.

What exactly is “Net Carbon Zero”?? In simple terms, Net Carbon Zero means that all the greenhouse gases emitted in the atmosphere is reabsorbed and thus do not cause any harm. Carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor are the most common greenhouse gases. CO2, which is highly abundant, is the most harmful of all greenhouse gases, and limiting its emission is the only way to avert climate change.

In 2021, the Global CO2 emissions reached 36.3 billion tonnes, out of which 15.3 billion tonnes (more than 40%) is from coal burning. Petroleum refineries emit approximately 90,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, followed by Railways which emit 70,000 tonnes. The annual CO2 emission by the Cement industry alone is around 40,000 tonnes while that of the Fertilizer industry is 30,000 tonnes. Also, almost half of the world’s emissions are majorly from three countries- China, the USA, and Europe. Global CO2 emissions saw a decrease during the Covid lockdown but again increased rapidly after that. The increasing prices of natural gas worldwide made countries switch back to coal to meet the power supply demands.

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions, one needs to understand where these are coming from and then suitable mitigation steps should be taken. The major sectors contributing to CO2 emissions are:

  • Energy Sector (electricity, heat, and transport): 73.2%
  • Direct Industrial Processes: 5.2%
  • Waste: 3.2%
  • Agriculture, Forestry, and Land Use: 18.4%


 About 3/4th of the global greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy sector alone. Extraction of petrol and diesel from crude oil leads to a large amount of CO2 emission besides huge emissions from the gasoline burning in vehicles. Each day 13.2 billion kg of CO2 is released by 88.4 million barrels of oil extraction. 1 kg CO2 is emitted by burning 1 L of petrol and diesel. A major shift in energy production is the only route to avoid the worst effects of global warming. Therefore, limiting carbon emissions, reducing carbon footprint, and seeking low carbon alternatives to achieve Net Carbon Zero is the only plausible solution.

Reducing dependency on conventional energy production methods like coal, petroleum, and natural gas, and boosting the use of renewable sources for green energy generation can help in bringing down carbon emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Green energy provides the highest environmental benefit and includes power produced by solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, low-impact hydroelectric, and certain eligible biomass sources”. Green energy is important for the environment as it replaces the negative effects of fossil fuels with more environmentally-friendly alternatives. Derived from natural resources, green energy is also often renewable and clean, meaning that they emit no or few greenhouse gases. Green energy provides real benefits to the environment since the power comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind and water. Creating energy with a zero-carbon footprint is a great stride to a more environmentally friendly future.

However, these renewable energy sources are not totally free from carbon emissions and hence are not completely green. The manufacturing and disposal of batteries and solar panels are not environmentally friendly. A number of harmful chemicals are used in the manufacturing process and the waste disposal of the solar plants also releases many toxic metals into the environment. The increasing use of solar energy around the world has started another debate about whether the technique is clean enough to replace fossil fuels.

Other renewable energy sources being used today face similar limitations. The world today is in dire need of a completely green and clean energy source. Achieving net-zero emission requires an unparalleled increase in clean energy investment.

Finally, the incredible and revolutionary Hydroelectric cell- A Green & Clean Energy device was invented by Dr. R. K. Kotnala and Dr. Jyoti Shah from India in 2015. The hydroelectric cell generates electricity using a few drops of water at room temperature without the use of any harmful chemicals. It is completely green, and eco-friendly and does not emit any greenhouse gases. The hydroelectric cell is highly efficient, biocompatible, and cost-effective which is an effective alternative to solar and other renewable energy sources.