Full decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors is possible, says new report

By Olga Aristeidou

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Energy Transitions Commission report shows reaching net-zero carbon emissions can be done with minimal cost to global economy

  • New report on net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from hard-to-abate sectors published by ETC today
  • Report shows that net-zero GHG emissions are technically and financially possible
  • ETC commissioners are leading figures from industry, investors, not-for-profit organisations and academics, including EBRD Managing Director Nandita Parshad

In the wake of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) urgent call for action, this new report sends a clear signal to policymakers, investors and businesses: full decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors is possible, making ambitious climate objectives achievable.

The new report, “Mission Possible: Reaching net-zero carbon emissions from harder-to-abate sectors by mid-century”, has been presented by the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) today at a conference in Brussels and will also be presented tomorrow in Delhi.

The report shows that reaching net-zero carbon emissions from heavy industry and heavy-duty transport can be done through ambitious policy, accelerated innovation and investment by 2060 (and earlier in developed economies) and could cost less than 0.5 per cent of global GDP.

The report was developed with contributions from over 200 industry experts and 31 commissioners over a six-month consultation process.

Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources and one of the commissioners, commented: “The ETC’s new report lays out not only a vision of what a zero-carbon economy could look like by mid-century but also the practical transition pathways with estimated costs to get there.”

The ETC brings together a diverse group of individuals from the energy and climate communities: investors, energy companies, non-profit organisations, advisers and academics from across the world. The aim is to accelerate change towards low-carbon energy systems that enable robust economic development and limit the rise in global temperature to well below 2˚C.

The EBRD is a leading investor in sustainable energy in its regions with deep expertise in energy efficiency investments in all sectors of the economy. The Bank believes that the volume of electricity the world uses to decarbonise otherwise hard-to-abate sectors in transport and industry will need to grow significantly. Moreover, the vast majority of this electricity should be generated from renewable energy sources, primarily wind and solar photovoltaic.

Since 2006, the EBRD has committed over €26 billion to projects furthering the transition to the green economy across 38 economies. The Bank is also the leading financier of renewable energy projects in our regions, which stretch from Morocco to Mongolia, with commitments of more than €6.3 billion in direct financing and credit lines to renewable energy projects, of total capacity over 10GW.

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