If we focus solely on cutting fossil fuel use, Net Zero will not be achieved soon enough to avoid a climate disaster. While this transition is crucial, we must also address the emissions produced before its completion.
In addition, Net Zero is complicated, with complicated accounting leading to unclear numbers for total emissions.
We must redefine the goal of Net Zero so that we can aim at a very specific target: Geological Net Zero. This target would mean making sure that the carbon contained in fossil fuels does not end up dumped into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
Achieving Geological Net Zero (GNZ) means that any remaining fossil fuel extraction must be balanced with permanent carbon storage.
Put simply, one ton of carbon must be pumped back into the ground for every ton of carbon that is taken out of the ground.