Paris Time Conference

Government-Industry Dialogue Opening Plenary: Pathways to Net Zero – Building A Secure Clean Energy Economy

Background information

In the opening session of the Government-Industry Dialogue, participants will discuss opportunities for building a prosperous, global clean energy economy that ensures energy security, builds greater energy and climate resilience, incentivizes innovation, fosters a more just, inclusive, and people-centred future, and attains global net zero emissions by 2050. The session will focus on practical, near-term actions that government and industry can take, both separately and working together, to rapidly and securely surmount challenges related to these ambitions.

Reducing global carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 is a formidable challenge that will require broad cooperation among governments and industry – and investors of all stripes. As of February 2021, around 110 companies that consume large amounts of energy directly or produce energy-consuming goods had announced net-zero emissions goals or targets. By mid-October 2021, national net zero pledges covered around 70% of global CO2 emissions, with many countries (including the majority of IEA Members) seeking to attain net zero by 2050 or sooner.

While this ambition is commendable, attaining net zero emissions globally by 2050 demands concrete and immediate actions. Many governments and companies with announced net zero pledges have yet to explain in detail how they hope to achieve their ambitions. Some expect to achieve their emissions reductions primarily through emissions offsets. Everyone still has a long way to go to meet emissions targets and put the world on a trajectory to net zero emissions by 2050. The substantial changes, economic and otherwise, required to achieve net zero and ensure true climate and energy security cannot come solely “top down” from governments or “bottom up” from industry. Everyone has roles to play, and the time to play them is now.