de·​car·​bon·​ize (ˌ)dē-ˈkär-bə-ˌnīz How to pronounce decarbonize (audio)
decarbonized; decarbonizing; decarbonizes

transitive verb

: to remove carbon from (something)
It's usually not necessary to dismantle the engine to decarbonize it anymore.Allen D. Berrien
: to reduce the levels of carbon emissions (such as carbon dioxide) caused by or involved in (something, such as a facility, process, or organization)
… we must decarbonize the energy supply by developing forms of power that emit less greenhouse gas or none at all.Daniel Ben-Ami
[Steve] Cohen is confident that we will be able to decarbonize our economy in time to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.Renee Cho

intransitive verb

: to reduce the production of carbon emissions
Certainly, people at Airbus say they need to decarbonize, and research on battery technology for electric planes has been disappointing.Ned Potter
decarbonizer noun

Examples of decarbonize in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Emissions: Fan Travel Is The Leading Issue In terms of energy use, a panel on diesel fuel noted that the quickest way to decarbonize the music industry would be to remove diesel generators from event sites. Katie Bain, Billboard, 9 Feb. 2024 The International Energy Agency, which outlined what many experts say is the world’s most realistic plan to decarbonize, sees a need to more than double nuclear energy by 2050. Angela Dewan, CNN, 1 Feb. 2024 Newsom is expected to visit the region and sign an agreement with local officials about decarbonizing industry and promoting clean energy. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2023 The law is already helping to decarbonize the industry, but now, real estate interests are lobbying hard to weaken it. Liza Featherstone, The New Republic, 4 Oct. 2023 Related article Germany quits nuclear power, closing its final three plants Most countries are trying to rapidly decarbonize their energy systems to address the climate crisis. Angela Dewan, CNN, 1 Feb. 2024 But deploying the technology needs to be done in tandem with decarbonizing the economy. Tribune News Service, Hartford Courant, 14 Jan. 2024 The world is already steadily decarbonizing its electricity. Hannah Ritchie, WIRED, 17 Jan. 2024 Find an equitable way through the industrial transformation needed to decarbonize the global economy and resulting from Fourth Industrial Revolution technology. Bybørge Brende, Fortune, 15 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decarbonize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


International Scientific Vocabulary

First Known Use

1821, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of decarbonize was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near decarbonize

Cite this Entry

“Decarbonize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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