Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Energy Sector

Half of global emissions reductions will come from technologies that are currently at the demonstration phase.

Achieving a clean transition towards a dynamic resilient energy sector with net-zero emissions by 2050 is possible! A recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, was published in May 2021, making it the first-ever comprehensive study to identify and prioritize actions for the present to ensure net-zero emissions by mid-century.

This report includes key government actions to catalyze clean energy generation which would be universally affordable, accessible, and stable, while simultaneously calling to divest from fossil fuel dependencies. These actions would create millions of green jobs, which would subsequently facilitate economic growth, as well as secure cost-effective pathways to reach a net-zero energy sector.

Most of the current efforts to reach CO2 emissions reductions milestones by 2030 have a strong dependency on scaling existing green technologies that are available on the market, like solar, wind, electric vehicles, batteries and others. On the flip side, about 50% of greenhouse gas reduction efforts by 2050 will be derived from technologies that are currently at the demonstration phase or prototype levels. Investing in disruptive early stage companies developing the next generation of technologies that will accelerate global decarbonization is essential in increasing the rate of innovation and achieving carbon neutrality.

Source: IEA 2021 report

Governments will also need to substantially increase their spending on R&D, as well as establish and showcase climate technologies at the core of their energy and decarbonization agendas. Specifically, progress in R&D fields, such as advanced batteries, electrolyzers for hydrogen, and direct air capture and storage technologies have been identified as impactful.

Access to the full IEA report can be found here and their press release.