Low-carbon Pathways to Net Zero
In “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector,” the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that net zero by 2050 requires “nothing short of a total transformation of the energy system that underpins our economies,” and “the pathway is narrow but achievable.” In the past two years, there has been a groundswell of net-zero commitments by countries and companies across a wide spectrum of sectors led by the energy sector. At the same time, after the 2020 pandemic-induced drop, global GHG emissions have resumed an upward trajectory. Although there has been considerable progress in reducing emissions in the power sector, the progress in other sectors, notably transport, industry, residential and agriculture, has been very slow. In this conversation, we will discuss the potential pathways to net zero across a spectrum of sectors and the challenges to achieve these goals. How quickly can light-duty transport sector be decarbonized? What are the technological choices in heavy-duty transport, including air and shipping? What are the potential pathways to reduce emissions in the industrial sector? Is there an economic case for hydrogen and CCS now? How far can “electrification of everything” go? How would you accelerate deployment of energy infrastructure ready for net-zero—transmission lines, charging stations, hydrogen plants, pipelines, etc., (considering local opposition)? Will consumers have to pay higher energy and fuel prices for the foreseeable future to support net-zero goals?