How the Net Zero World Initiative will accelerate energy decarbonisation

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Global economies are struggling with decarbonising energy systems due to energy security issues related to the retirement of fossil fuels such as coal and gas. The Net Zero World Initiative launched during the COP26 summit in Glasgow aims to accelerate the global decarbonisation of energy systems. Here is how the initiative will achieve its goal.

Launched by the US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, John Kerry, and countries including Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Nigeria and Ukraine, the initiative aims to address technology and financial challenges hindering the decarbonisation of grid networks.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, said: ​“With Net Zero World, our partnering nations will harness the power and expertise of the national laboratories, federal agencies, think tanks, businesses and universities, to develop tangible clean energy projects that meet their energy needs.”

The US Department of Energy (DoE) will work with its national laboratories, philanthropies, and governments to help countries to develop energy transition roadmaps, a move that will help speed up the deployment of renewables and grid modernisation.

The roadmaps will be developed through peer-to-peer knowledge and technology exchanges. Moreover, the initiative will help member countries with implementation support, according to a statement, and in the process ensure energy networks are secure and resilient.

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Philanthropies including Breakthrough Energy, Lynne and Marc Benioff, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet will help the initiative to achieve its 2022 target of providing countries with technical and investment support required to amplify the transition to renewables and digital technology-enabled energy systems.

By 2023, the Net Zero World Initiative says it will ensure deep cooperation amongst member countries on renewable energy policies and programmes to accelerate the energy transition. Mechanisms to be deployed as part of the 2023 phase include technology pilots, infrastructure upgrades, investments partnerships and capacity building and workforce development, according to the statement.

By 2024, a total of $10 billion will be mobilised to support infrastructure development. The initiative will also continue to provide countries with implementation support and create more clean energy jobs thereby preparing the workforce for next-generation business cases.

By 2025, the Net Zero World Initiative aims to ensure that 50% of new clean energy jobs created are held by women and 40% benefit disadvantaged communities to ensure the energy transition is inclusive and just.

Paul Kearns, director of the Argonne National Laboratory, a US DoE lab, said: ​“Argonne is eager to bring its deep research expertise, unique scientific tools and facilities, and world-class community of talent to bear in collaborating with Net Zero World partners.”