Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing carbon emissions with carbon removal (often through carbon offsetting) or simply eliminating carbon emissions altogether (the transition to the "post-carbon economy"). It is used in the context of carbon dioxide-releasing processes associated with transportation, energy production, agriculture, and industrial processes. Carbon-neutral status can be achieved in two ways:
Balancing carbon dioxide emissions with carbon removal beyond natural processes, often through carbon offsetting, or the process of removing or sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere. Some carbon-neutral fuels work in much the same way by being made from carbon dioxide themselves, either natural or man-made, despite producing carbon emissions as well. Much more extreme forms of carbon dioxide removal may also be used.
Reducing carbon emissions (low-carbon economy) through changing energy sources and industry processes. Shifting towards the use of renewable energy (e.g. wind and solar power) has shown the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Although both renewable and non-renewable energy both produce carbon emissions, renewable energy has a lesser to almost zero carbon emissions. which produces much less carbon emissions compared to fossil fuels. Making changes to current industrial and agricultural processes to reduce carbon emissions (for example, diet changes to livestock such as cattle can potentially reduce methane production by 40%. Carbon projects and emissions trading are often used to reduce carbon emissions, and carbon dioxide can even sometimes be prevented from entering the atmosphere entirely (such as by carbon scrubbing).