Been working on a project on emissions targeting. Or at least tangentially related. It’s been an eye-opener for me as I come to see how important it is to reduce the carbon intensity of electricity generation. Reducing scope 2 emissions for lots of different industries makes a really significant contribution as it turns out.
Yet at the same time, it got me thinking about those corporates that are targeting to go net-zero by 2030, or 2040, or 2050 for that matter. In each cases, they give themselves a little, or a lot of room to eventually hit their targets. But we need to realise that each year you delay reduction, you’re pumping out more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that actually stays there. In fact it stays there longer because we are simultaneously doing so much to reduce the planet’s capacity to absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
This is unlike our other kinds of goals involving gaining mastery for example. You can give yourself more time to master something; and the consequence is at most that you are still not that good for a few more years. Or you could choose to take a gap year so you will graduate only later (which probably reduce your income by that one year). The consequence of the carbon dioxide thrown out into the air because you were lax with your target-setting can mean we no longer can keep temperature change within 2 deg Celsius – which by the way, will result in increased number of catastrophic weather events.
Intentionally or not, we are creating a future for ourselves and our offsprings. Unfortunately, it is not one that most of us would like to live in.