The world needs an estimated one to two trillion dollars a year of additional investments or 1-1.5% of global gross domestic product to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. This has come up in a report by the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC).
The report“Making Mission Possible – Delivering a Net-Zero Economy,”released on September 16, said that a net zero global economy can be achieved through a profound transformation of the global energy system. The report puts forth that clean electrification is the primary route to decarbonisation, complemented by hydrogen, sustainable biomass and fossil fuels combined with carbon capture.economy
The Energy Transitions Commission has urged governments, civil society, corporate and investors to work together towards zero-carbon solutions before 2030 to put mid-century targets within reach.
The Energy Transitions Commission is a coalition of global leaders from across the energy landscape. The report points out that transition to zero emissions would drive innovation and economic growth and create more jobs. It will also improve living standards, especially in developing economies.
Steps to net-zero-emissions economy
The report has called for using clean energy everywhere such as clean electrification of buildings, transport and industry. The report demands the use of hydrogen where one cannot electrify Decarbonise remaining energy use using CCS/U and sustainable bioenergy. The report also called for multiplying zero-carbon electricity generation by 10-15 and also to build biofuel and synthetic fuel supply chains.
Another method highlighted in the report is to use less energy. This can be achieved by deploying more efficient equipment, production processes and transport modes.
Complete transformation required
The report states that thermal coal use would be almost totally phased out. It says that oil demand could be cut to around 10 million barrels per day by midcentury. Natural gas will have a transitional role in many sectors and locations, t6he report added.
Challenges and opportunities for developing countries
The ETC report says that the rich developed economies should have an objective to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. And all developing countries should achieve the target by 2060 at the latest. However, it says that some developing countries may be able to achieve full decarbonisation by 2050 and this is because these economies have significant potential solar and wind resources.
The report also mentions China and India as particularly significant for the world’s emissions trajectory, given their share of total current or future potential global emissions. It says that these two countries have set example for other developing countries. China has a clear national objective to become “a fully developed rich economy” by 2050. Given its high savings and investments, its natural resource endowment and its increasing technological leadership in many important sectors, it could and should achieve this objective while also becoming a zero-carbon economy, the report noted. In India, renewable electricity from wind and solar could grow from eight per cent 32 per cent by 2030.
Making progress by 2030 to achieve net-zero by 2050
The report says that policy makers should create conditions for rapid private sector action and build up infrastructure. The innovators should bring to market and reduce the cost of zero-emissions technologies. Apart from this, the energy producers should produce low cost and abundant zero emissions energy. The producers of goods and services have the role to transform deeply processes and business models to embrace efficiency and zero-emissions production, the ETC said in the report. Moreover, the buyers of goods and services should always demand and pay for low emissions and eventually zero emission goods and services.