Racing to Net Zero Carbon Emissions

The Race to Net-Zero Carbon and the Unlikely Disaster Uniting a Nation to Achieve It

By Craig T. Bouchard

President Joe Biden’s clean energy website leads off with this statement:

“At this moment of profound crisis, we have the opportunity to build a more resilient, sustainable economy – one that will put the United States on an irreversible path to achieve net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050.”

On the other side of the world, Japan’s “Green Growth Strategy” is an action plan in place to drive Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s October pledge to eliminate carbon emissions on a net basis by 2050.

What about the other members of G7; namely Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom? Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron, the United Kingdom’s Boris Johnson, and Canada’s Justin Trudeau have also all called for their nations to achieve net-zero carbon by 2050.

China, which strives to be a prominent world leader, is not in the lead on net-zero carbon. President Xi has called for the nation of China, one of the world’s leading polluters, to achieve net-zero carbon objectives by 2060. Many believe this to be an impossible goal as China currently accounts for roughly 75% of the world’s total coal consumption.

It is rare that the heads of all seven members of the G7 agree on anything related to the environment. With China’s support, at least on the PR side, the world’s top eight leaders are in consensus. So, the race is on. Which of these countries has the best chance of becoming the leader of the pack?