What does “net zero” mean?

By Roelof Coertze, Izaak Jephson and Kateryna Swiegers

As the world attempts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, the concept of ‘net zero’ is central to many strategies and targets. However, ‘net zero’ is often not explicitly defined and varies for different entities. This note explores what ‘net zero’ means for various levels of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) emissions aggregation and discusses associated considerations for each of them. Specifically, we consider the following views at which the concept of ‘net zero’ is typically used: the planet, country, company, product and individual levels.