It is 2050 and energy systems worldwide have been decarbonized thanks to a range of innovative solutions, investments and policy choices that set us on the pathway decades earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic response proved a milestone in kick-starting the shift towards today’s decarbonized and resilient energy system as it sparked a range of critical behavioural changes and recovery-related green investments. Reforms to our institutional, legal and regulatory frameworks gave – and continue to give – a real boost to the decarbonization of electricity, transport, heating and cooling. Currently, the energy sector provides 100 million jobs worldwide.

The energy we use is primarily electric and at least 80 percent of our electricity is being generated from renewable energy sources, and 100% from zero-carbon sources. Energy intensity has been dramatically reduced. Our present energy infrastructure is more resilient to market shocks and the impacts of climate change than the heavily centralized fossil- and nuclear-fueled systems of the past.

In addition, the active participation of the millions of people who produce, trade and consume energy has made the global energy system far more democratic and fair. We now have universal access to energy services, enabled by affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy sources. While the early phases of the transition were somewhat tumultuous, we succeeded in creating a fair and just transition. This is a major contributor to today’s thriving societies.

Despite the ongoing challenges of our changing climate, the future beyond 2050 looks bright. The global energy system is now decarbonised, resilient and efficient and sustainably delivers the services we need for an even more inclusive economy and healthy society.

The 2030 Breakthrough

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How to Take Action
  • By 2025, at least 100 national governments to set clear targets and enabling policy frameworks for transiting to 100% clean power by the 2040s.
  • Provide the necessary investment and market incentives to achieve electrification levels of 20% in passenger vehicles, 50% in buildings, and 30% in industry and heavy transport by 2030.
  • All OECD countries to have phased out coal in their power sectors by 2030, with all other major carbon-emitting countries to have followed by 2040.
  • By 2021, 8 major oil and gas companies and 90 utilities to have adopted science-based net zero commitments.
  • By 2025, at least 25 GW green hydrogen capacity under construction, achieving costs of $1.5/kg.
  • All businesses to commit to purchase 100% renewable energy and to set targets for reduced intensity of their operations.
  • Scale up renewable energy financing whilst discontinuing financing new coal projects by 2021.
  • Support the roll-out of green hydrogen infrastructure by making substantial contributions to a cumulative investment target of US$100 billion by 2025 and US$1 trillion by 2030.
  • All leading banks and investment firms to make robust commitments to invest in energy transition assets and infrastructure, and to reallocate capital investments and loans to Net Zero-aligned energy companies.
  • Support research into, demonstration and deployment of, breakthrough energy solutions, such as green hydrogen and sustainable fuels for aviation and shipping.
  • Continue to advance the commercial competitiveness of clean energy by improving the efficiency and cost of wind, solar and other renewable power solutions.
  • Undertake advocacy with governments to accelerate the transition to decarbonised energy, whilst ensuring a just transition for workers and communities.
  • Shift energy suppliers to prioritise companies that guarantee the provision of 100% renewable energy.