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The following is a headline from CNN. Is "and" out of place?

European Union enshrines net zero and emissions targets in law

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    Possibly not. Without reading the article, the emissions targets could refer to stages while net zero could refer to a final target.
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 9:36
  • "net zero" is supposed to be an adjective modifying "emissions." As the headline is written, "net zero" and "emissions targets" are juxtaposed. But what exactly is "emissions targets"?
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 9:43
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    In this headline I expect that "net zero emissions" is shortened to "net zero" and "emissions targets" refers to something else. I imagine the law sets a date when CO2 emissions must be zero, and earlier dates with their own, non-zero, targets. I may be wrong - if in doubt about what the headline should say then read the entire article. Remember the purpose of the headline is to get you to read the article, not necessarily to be a good summary.
    – Peter
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 9:49
  • edition.cnn.com/2021/06/28/europe/…
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 10:15
  • While "emissions targets" alone could function as an object, it is not descriptive enough.
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 10:31

2 Answers 2

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From a comment to the question:

"net zero" is supposed to be an adjective modifying "emissions."

No, net zero is a term of its own. It basically means

... that any greenhouse gas emissions released are balanced by an equal amount being taken out of the atmosphere.

Emissions targets are stated targets on how much emissions are to be reduced by a certain date. For example, according to this overview from Australia

  • The UK plans to get down to 50% below 1990 levels by 2023-2027
  • Germany plans to get down to 55% below 1990 by 2030

So, according to

European Union enshrines net zero and emissions targets in law

the proposed law covers net zero and emissions targets. The conjunction is completely correct.

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  • I suspect the author meant to write "net-zero emissions targets."
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 10:13
  • "Net zero" is supposed to be used as an adjective.
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 10:14
  • edition.cnn.com/2021/06/28/europe/…
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 10:15
  • Otherwise, "emissions targets" alone would not be descriptive enough.
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 10:32
  • @Apollyon No, as I explained in my answer, both "net zero" and "emissions target" are established terms in the field. Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 11:02
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Hard to tell, both "net zero" and especially "emissions targets" sound unnatural and straight from the dictionary and grammar of something like Orwellian newspeak. It is purposefully difficult to argue about the correctness of recently made-up artificial constructs related to the "climate change scare" agenda like this. I would suggest not giving too much thought about minutiae like this; it is confusing whether the "and" is out of place because it is meant to be confusing, with the goal of causing a mental fatigue, which in turn lowers readers' guard and easies the effort of pushing agenda.

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  • Another thing about the headline is, "net zero" itself could refer to a kind of emissions target. lexico.com/definition/net_zero If so, the coordination of "net zero" and 'emissions targets" could be problematic just like "huskies and dogs."
    – Apollyon
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 4:30

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