Strategies to achieve a carbon neutral society: a review

Lin Chen, Goodluck Msigwa, Mingyu Yang, Ahmed I. Osman, Samer Fawzy, David W. Rooney, Pow Seng Yap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

427 Citations (Scopus)


The increasing global industrialization and over-exploitation of fossil fuels has induced the release of greenhouse gases, leading to an increase in global temperature and causing environmental issues. There is therefore an urgent necessity to reach net-zero carbon emissions. Only 4.5% of countries have achieved carbon neutrality, and most countries are still planning to do so by 2050–2070. Moreover, synergies between different countries have hampered synergies between adaptation and mitigation policies, as well as their co-benefits. Here, we present a strategy to reach a carbon neutral economy by examining the outcome goals of the 26th summit of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26). Methods have been designed for mapping carbon emissions, such as input–output models, spatial systems, geographic information system maps, light detection and ranging techniques, and logarithmic mean divisia. We present decarbonization technologies and initiatives, and negative emissions technologies, and we discuss carbon trading and carbon tax. We propose plans for carbon neutrality such as shifting away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy, and the development of low-carbon technologies, low-carbon agriculture, changing dietary habits and increasing the value of food and agricultural waste. Developing resilient buildings and cities, introducing decentralized energy systems, and the electrification of the transportation sector is also necessary. We also review the life cycle analysis of carbon neutral systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2277-2310
Number of pages34
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Carbon emissions
  • Carbon neutral system
  • Carbon neutrality
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Net-zero carbon plan
  • Worldwide initiatives


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