Humans are responsible for putting out over 33 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, thanks to driving, growing food, making products, and everything else we do. How can we bring that almost incomprehensibly enormous number down to zero?
Surprisingly, it might not necessarily take any new tech. A new study from the Centre for Alternative Technology looked at how the U.K. could get to zero carbon by 2030—something the report's authors say is completely possible.
One step? Switching to renewable energy—mostly wind and biomass, but also wave energy, solar power, geothermal, and more—and then retrofitting buildings so they use less electricity and heat. With better buildings, the authors say, renewable energy could easily cover the needs of the whole country.
The report outlines everything else that needs to happen in detail, from switching to electric cars and making cities more walkable to asking people to eat less meat and dairy. Extra carbon that can't be reduced immediately can be sucked up through carbon capture technology.
The numbers say that zero carbon's possible, but the hard part will be making it happen: getting the political support to redesign infrastructure, and convincing Brits to change some parts of daily life, like what goes on the dinner table. The same challenge faces the rest of the world.
Check out the full study here.
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