kdixon1_Irfan Khan  Los Angeles Times via Getty Images_solar power Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Decarbonization Roadmap

Achieving collective climate ambitions requires rapid and deep transitions in each of the sectors that contribute to global energy demand, including power, transport, manufacturing, steel, and chemicals. To that end, three priorities in particular must be addressed.

LONDON – Our climate challenge is an energy challenge. But solving our energy challenge requires action that goes well beyond power generation.

Solar and wind have revolutionized our energy system. But with the power sector currently supplying only 20% of our energy, simply producing more green electricity cannot get us to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by mid-century. Nor will converting renewable power into large-scale supplies of green hydrogen be a silver bullet. Our ships, planes, and trains are not configured for it, and the economic incentives are not yet moving in the right direction.

Our energy challenge is also an energy demand problem. Achieving our collective climate ambitions requires rapid and deep transitions in each of the sectors that contribute to global energy demand, including not only power, but also transport, manufacturing, steel, and chemicals. Getting these transitions on track at the required pace implies the complete transformation of our energy infrastructure. To that end, three priorities in particular will be crucial.

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