Mapping the Global Energy Transition
Energy Transition/Climate & Sustainability
Last year will be long remembered as a year when the world—and the energy world—changed in multiple ways. Accelerating net-zero ambitions—amid conflict, disruption in global energy markets and global economic headwinds— have been surprising and unexpected developments with the launch of the RePower EU plan in Europe and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the United States. The IRA, along with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors and Science (CHIPS), will turbo charge investments in a wide spectrum of clean energy technologies in the United States and will launch a new era of U.S. industrial policy. At the same time, energy security once again became a priority for governments in the face of an “energy war” in Europe, high prices and shortages. COP27 did not produce dramatic agreements that some would have expected. Although there was a pledge on “loss and damage,” the structure and funding of the mechanism have yet to be worked out. There was no progress on the mitigation front. According to estimates from S&P Global Commodity Insights, the current set of nationally determined contributions (NDCs) (many non-binding) would only reduce emissions by approximately 2% in 2030 relative to 2019 levels, compared with the 23% reduction (relative to 2019) that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change sets as the benchmark required to align with a 1.5°C pathway. Due to the war in Ukraine, decades of policies and precedent were put aside by countries around the world to rewire the global energy system. Global carbon dioxide emissions are estimated to have increased by 1% in 2022, hitting a new record of 37.5 billion tonnes. The fastest emissions growth comes from India, with an estimated 6% increase compared with 2021. In light of these and many other uncertainties, how does the panel think about the future map of energy transition? In this fluid and uncertain environment should energy companies invest in oil/gas supplies and infrastructure even if the useful life of these new investments is uncertain? Should they accelerate investments in energy transition technologies when investors do not seem to reward these portfolio changes? What is the realistic pace of change in the global energy mix without leading to unintended consequences? How should energy transition play out in emerging economies where emissions may continue to increase for some years before reversing the trend? How can the transition be just, orderly and balanced? What will this require? And what are the differences in “just transition” perspectives across the United States, the European Union, and the developing world?