How to reach net-negative emissions by mid-century


A new report conducted by energy funding firm Citi to provide a roadmap to net-zero carbon has been published.

The report Electrifying Path to Net Zero Carbon recommends a rapid increase in the electrification of the transport and industry to be able to tackle climate change.

The report outlines the amount of carbon emissions per sector. 

Much more carbon emissions and severe temperature increases will result and cause more extreme weather conditions and rising sea levels.

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At current rates of carbon emissions, we could hit the ‘carbon budget’ in 10 to 15 years and the majority of our cities and infrastructure would be inundated raising the spectre of mass human migration and climate refugees.

Citi recommends the targeting of net zero emissions by 2050 and net negative in the second half of this century. This will require entirely new (and exciting) forms of carbon removal technology.

For instance, increasing investments in energy storage, in expanding the energy mix with more renewables, electric vehicles and in new business models such as vehicle-to-grid and energy demand response.

Whilst the unavailability of funds for sustainable energy projects remain an important factor in this transition, climate change itself, and in particular climate change risk is becoming an increasingly important driver.

The change will be driven not just by societal pressures being transmitted via politics into legislation and regulation, but also via financial markets through investor preference and the desire of ultimate asset owners for societal returns rather than purely financial returns, as evidenced by the extraordinary rise of sustainable investing and ESG investing.

Jason Channell, head of sustainable finance at Citi Global Insights, said: “Our Global Integrated Energy and Emissions Framework highlights the key areas by fuel, by activity, and by the country, we should focus on to make the biggest impact on emissions.

“The one overriding theme is that even with dramatic changes, reducing emissions in a meaningful sense is fiendishly difficult, and there are significant headwinds against us.” In Citi’s reference scenario, CO2 emissions from power generation increase by 24% and account for 36% of total emissions by 2050.

“If there is one key message however, it is that we need to see massive electrification of transport and industry.”

Download the report here