Achieving Net Zero: Volume 20

Cover of Achieving Net Zero

Challenges and Opportunities


Table of contents

(11 chapters)

Part 1 Net Zero and Sustainability


This chapter discusses the global challenge to reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions to net zero by 2050. It explains what net zero means and how it is calculated, together with some of the debate around the suitability of the target to maintain global warming levels within ‘acceptable’ boundaries. The chapter then presents some of the opportunities and challenges that transitioning towards net zero will pose to countries and their inhabitants, in terms of changes to policies, products, processes and behaviours that will be required to attain the target. It then discusses the need for a strategy to achieve net zero across different sectors of society and provides a few suggestions of tools and concepts that could be adopted to support the changes necessary, such as planning for change, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), integrated reporting and the circular economy. The chapter concludes with a reflection on the need for the net zero target and how it is our collective responsibility to support the challenging transition to net zero for the benefit of all.


This study aims to reveal the perspectives of the management and senior accountants on the subject regarding the effects of climate change on the business world, within the framework of utilisation of tools like strategic cost management and strategic management. An electronic form was sent repeatedly to the e-mail addresses of public companies listed on the Borsa Istanbul (BIST), which were obtained from the Public Disclosure Platform (PDP), between June 2018 and June 2019. According to the data obtained from the survey of this study, it is not possible to comment that these tools are effectively utilised in Turkey. Besides, it is also early to say that top management is fully aware of the need to manage climate change. This study contributes to the literature by revealing the view of management accountants and finance experts in Turkey on climate change.


The turbulent phase of COVID-19 has caused uncertainty as governments fail to develop coherent strategies for cutting emissions and are struggling to match the rhetoric of sustainable activities with actions (Barbier & Burgess, 2020; Cawthorn, Kennaugh, & Ferreira, 2021). In the recent past, firms have failed in their plans to decarbonise their key sectors such as the retail sector in the United Kingdom So far, retailers' commitment to achieving net zero emissions has been an important pledge but delivery is nowhere closer to their promises (Henriques, 2020). The firms' climate targets are not going to be met by magic as serious action is needed to fulfil the promises.

Fossil fuels have led to a drastic increase in carbon emissions in the world over the last decade. Firms championing cleaner energy and low carbon technologies are needed to cut emissions. Renewable energy sources such as wind energy can help reducing the dependency of fossil fuels (Boretti, 2020; Ebhota & Jen, 2020). Wind is an indirect form of solar energy which can provide environment-friendly option in uncertain times and can provide long-term sustainability of global economy. Solar energy technologies have the potential to decrease climate change through energy-related emissions (Li, Dai, & Cui, 2020). Increasing energy demand has initiated a focus on using hydrogen from water as a substitute for oil and fossil fuels (Boretti, 2020).

The first part of the chapter discusses theoretical perspectives of sustainable development and environmental performance with regards to three main issues: energy, water and carbon emissions, whereas the later part highlights the importance of solar technology as a low-polluted alternative to fossil fuels in the retail sector. Sustainable development of energy, water and environmental precautions such as reducing carbon emissions are of interest to wider branches of industries including retail, energy and water sector, governmental policymakers, researchers, educators and society. The purpose of this chapter is to increase the debate of the key issues of sustainable development regarding environment, energy and water in the modern times.

Part 2 Regional Studies


Climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic are complex and have multifaceted effects on countries in an unpredictable and unprecedented manner. While both COVID-19 and the climate crisis share similarities, they also have some notable differences. Being both systemic in nature with knock-on and cascading effects that propagate due to high connectedness of countries, COVID-19, however, presents imminent and directly visible dangers, while the risks from climate change are gradual, cumulative and often distributed dangers. Climate change has more significant medium and long-term impacts which are likely to worsen over time. There is no vaccine for climate change compared to COVID-19. In addition, those most affected by extreme climatic conditions have usually contributed the least to the root causes of the crisis. This is in fact the case of island economies. The chapter thus investigates into the vulnerability and resilience of 38 Small Islands Developing States (SIDs) to both shocks. Adopting a comprehensive conceptual framework and data on various indices from the literature and global databases, we assess the COVID-19 and climate change vulnerabilities of SIDs on multiple fronts. The results first reveal a higher vulnerability across all dimensions for the Pacific islands compared to the other islands in the sample. There is also evidence of a weak correlation between climate change risk and the COVID-19 pandemic confirming our premise that there are marked differences between these two shocks and their impacts on island communities.


The success of waste management depends on public awareness of environmental issues and the ability of the local government to provide facilities. Many countries have serious problems of financial resources and infrastructure for waste management. As there is a lack of awareness of the population on the importance of waste management, municipal governments only adopt remediation actions to manage waste collection service.

In Angola, during the last decade, the government has been committed to the reconstruction and development of the country, creating infrastructure for the provision of essential services and publishing legal tools to respond to environmental issues. In 2012 the government approved the Strategic Plan for the Management of Municipal Solid Waste (PESGRU). The strategic plan was designed for a time horizon until 2025. Due to the economic crisis that hit the country, the implementation of the plan suffered several setbacks and the deadlines established for the different programmes are being compromised.

A study carried out in 2020 on waste management in Angola, with four of the main provinces as a stage, through the analysis of official documents, direct observation and face-to-face interviews with those in charge of waste management, revealed a lack of funding for the implementation of PESGRU and low assistance from the Ministry of the Environment and the central government and showed the unsustainability of the waste management model in light of the principles recommended by international good practices.


The chapter aims to evaluate the efficacy of stakeholder participation in the solid waste management system of Mauritius in view of providing a possible mechanism to attain the goals of a sustainable waste management framework.


The study employs qualitative indicators, namely, User Inclusivity and Producer Inclusivity of the Wasteaware Benchmark Indicators. Secondary data are used to conduct a critical and comprehensive analysis of the sub-indicators falling under each of the two main indicators to determine the overall compliance level with respect to stakeholder engagement of the waste management sector of Mauritius.


The results of the study show a LOW/MEDIUM compliance level for both User Inclusivity and Provider Inclusivity indicators, which indicates that improvement is required in the stakeholder engagement mechanism in Mauritius. The main weaknesses identified comprise of lack of an adequate legal framework with clear definition of waste types with regards to segregation, especially for non-hazardous wastes, low efficiency of sustainable waste management awareness campaigns and lack of inclusion of the informal sector. The main strengths identified consist of a proper bidding mechanism in place and a good level of equity in the provision of waste management services with respect to comingled waste collection. Suggested improvement areas include a revamping of the existing legal framework related to waste management to cater for higher inclusivity of all stakeholders together with including sustainable waste management topics in the formal education curriculum.


The User Inclusivity and Producer Inclusivity indicators were previously applied only to cities to measure the level of stakeholder participation, but this study has demonstrated that these indicators can also be adopted on a nation-wide level to evaluate stakeholder engagement. The use of these indicators together with secondary data presents a less time-consuming method to assess stakeholder participation in the waste sector, which can be particularly useful for Small Island Developing States.

Part 3 Sectoral Studies


The study investigates the effects of energy resource efficiency on the triple themes of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental dimensions). We adopt a quantitative research method, and the required macroeconomic data were extracted from World Development Indicators for a period of 30 years (1991–2020). The extracted data were analysed using correlation analysis and linear regression. Ultimately, the estimations from the three models produced mixed results. Energy resource efficiency (EFF) exerts a significant positive effect on economic sustainability (ECS), a significant negative effect on social sustainability (SOS) and a significant negative effect on environmental sustainability (EVS). However, claims on government (COG) exerted an insignificant negative effect on ECS, an insignificant negative effect on SOS and a significant positive effect on environmental sustainability (EVS). In practical terms, the findings are consistent with previous empirical studies, and they also validate X-efficiency theory (XET) and resource curse theory (RCT). The study concludes with implications, limitations and further research directions.


Climate change is a global issue with far-reaching environmental, social and economic consequences. As more people become aware of these consequences, pressure is mounting on governments and businesses to implement ambitious and required climate mitigation and adaptation plans to reduce and finally stop making the climate crisis worse. One of these strategies is just transition, which is defined as the call for climate transformation that prioritises the social and environmental needs of workers and vulnerable groups, especially in the context of transitioning away from fossil fuels, while leaving no one behind. This chapter first provides an overview of just transition through a review of the literature and bibliometric analysis. Then, it discusses just transition in policymaking, comprising reactive, proactive and transformational just transition approaches. This is followed by a discussion on barriers to just transition. Finally, the chapter offers a practical example of transformational just transition approach by reporting some preliminary findings from a case study in the coal mining town of Collie on Wilman Boodja, Western Australia.


Energy consumption in transportation accounted for over 29% of total final consumption (TFC) of energy and 65% of global oil usage, and it is highly connected to mobility. Mobility is essential for access to day-to-day activities such as education, leisure, healthcare, business activities, and commercial and industrial operations. This study examines the energy consumption for the transport industry, and the level of renewable energy development in some selected Sub-Saharan African (SSA) nations. This study relied on previous publications of government, reports and articles related to the subject matter. Vehicle ownership is fast increasing, particularly in cities. Still, it begins at a relatively low level because the area is home to countries with the lowest ownership rates worldwide. In its current state, the energy sector faces significant challenges such as inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure, dealing with increasing traffic congestion in cities, large-scale imports of used vehicles with poor emission standards that affect air quality in cities, a lack of safe and formally operated public transportation systems, and inadequate consideration for women and disabled mobility needs. Motorcycle and tricycle are dominating the rural areas, accounting for a substantial amount of this growth. Aviation is the largest non-road user of energy, and this trend is predicted to continue through 2040 as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grows and urbanisation expands. This study revealed the energy consumption for the transport industry, and the level of renewable energy development in some selected SSA. Rail and navigation lag behind current global levels. The usage of biofuel and rail transport was recommended.


Aviation is not only one of the key contributors to the economy and social structure of the world but it is also an industry whose environmental impacts are being closely monitored. Aircraft efficiency and technological advancements have significantly reduced aviation noise and emissions in recent decades. Nevertheless, as the need for passenger and freight transportation grows, the aviation sector is becoming a primary source of environmental issues and a significant driver of global warming. This chapter focusses on environmentally sustainable aviation with a net-zero emission target. It also highlights sustainable aviation policies and collaborative initiatives in the aviation industry to meet the 2050 net-zero emission goal. While the industry's efforts have increased opportunities recently, the industry has also had to face several challenges to achieve the net-zero aviation target.

Cover of Achieving Net Zero
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Book series
Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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