• The Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE Scenario) relies on the deployment of a wide portfolio of low-emissions technologies and emissions reduction options to reach net zero CO2 from the energy sector by 2050, but it also depends on a high degree of global co-operation and collaboration. Advanced economies take the lead and reach net zero emissions by 2045 in aggregate in the NZE Scenario, China by 2050 and other emerging market and developing economies after 2050. The comprehensive NZE Scenario update presented here reflects real-world progress since our Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector report in 2021 and a continuous assessment of feasibility across sectors and technologies, but it is not the only pathway to reach the goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Taken together, solar photovoltaics (PV) and electric vehicles (EVs) provide one-third of the emissions reductions to 2030 in the updated NZE Scenario. The share of electric cars in total car sales soars to more than 65% by 2030, and solar PV capacity increases fivefold from today. The announced manufacturing pipeline for solar PV and batteries is projected to be sufficient to meet the NZE Scenario deployment needs to 2030. Demand for oil and gas declines by around 20% by 2030 – fast enough that no new long lead time conventional oil and gas projects need to be approved for development. Low-emissions electricity rises so rapidly that no new unabated coal plants beyond those under construction at the start of 2023 are built.  

Total energy supply by source in the Net Zero Scenario, 2022-2050

  • Technologies under development are essential to achieve net zero emissions. Progress in clean energy innovation over the past two years, such as on battery chemistries, and the even stronger market momentum of commercial technologies such as solar PV, have had a tangible impact. In our 2021 report, the share of emissions reductions in 2050 from technologies under development was almost half: that figure has now fallen to around 35% in our updated NZE Scenario.
  • The extraordinary surge in global manufacturing capacity for solar PV and batteries underpins their more significant role in the period to 2030. Capacity additions of wind have been revised downwards relative to the 2021 NZE Scenario, but wind is still critical to reach net zero emissions; further policy support is required to help overcome challenges in wind power deployment. The role of nuclear power has been revised upwards given recent policy support.
  • Hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) have an important part to play to reduce emissions in heavy industry and long-distance transport. In the 2023 NZE Scenario, they provide one-fifth of all emissions reductions between 2030 and 2050. But the part they play is smaller than in the 2021 version, particularly in the near term. This reflects slower technological and market development progress than envisaged in 2021 and stronger electrification prospects.

CO2 emissions reductions in cumulative savings by mitigation measures in the Net Zero Scenario, 2022-2050


Emission changes over time by mitigation measure in the Net Zero Scenario, 2022-2050