The idea of "totally decarbonizing the economy" is wrong. And the "zero emission" is currently utopian. "Building a solar panel, an electric car or a wind turbine also produces CO₂, and not a little", warns Professor Pablo Foncillas.
For example, the cement at the base of a wind turbine or the metal used involve processes that pollute. "In order to rigorously measure the impact of any energy source installation (including renewable ones), its entire life cycle must be taken into account: the extraction of materials, the construction of the plant, the management of the waste produced... .", details Foncillas.
For this reason, it would make more sense to speak of "carbon offsetting" or "emissions neutrality". In short, "the CO₂ that is generated is offset by that which is reduced. Trying, of course, to generate as little as possible," says the researcher.
For now, we will continue to generate emissions. This suggests that the debate revolves around the development of renewables, but also to increase energy efficiency. "For now, it seems that what it is about is compensating. Or at least trying, because zero emissions do not exist," concludes the expert.
And all this, how does it translate into the impact of climate change? How will it affect future generations? is there a solution?