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The latest research is clear: To avoid the worst climate impacts, global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will not only need to drop by half in the next 10 years, they will then have to reach net-zero around mid-century.
Recognizing this urgency, the UN Secretary General recently asked national leaders to come to the UN Climate Action Summit this September 2019 with announcements of targets for net-zero emissions by 2050. Several countries have already committed to do so, along with some states, cities and companies.
Here we explore what a net-zero target means, explain the science behind net-zero, and discuss which countries have already made such commitments.