Pathways to 2050: Timelines for Business and Industry to reach net zero carbon emissions

"The pathway to net zero is very narrow, but it is still achievable. It calls for nothing less than a complete transformation of how we produce transport and consume energy." - Christophe McGlade, International Energy Agency

Carbon Connect, Policy Connect's independent forum of experts to bring about a low carbon transformation underpinned by sustainable energy, met today. They discussed the UK’s decarbonisation targets for business and industry, what is required logistically for these to be achieved, and how government can enable the low-carbon transition, in light of the recent International Energy Agency report on a global pathway to net zero by 2050.

The meeting was chaired by Lord Teverson, House of Lords, EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee Chair. Introductory remarks were given by:

  • Stephen Barker, Head of Outcome Based Solutions, Siemens
  • Maxine Frerk, Director of Grid Edge Policy
  • Dr David Joffe, Head of Carbon Budgets, Climate Change Committee
  • Christophe McGlade, WEO Senior Analyst, International Energy Agency

Maxine Frerk spoke on the importance of establishing key milestones sooner than 2050, in order to instil a sense of urgency, as well as learning from others: "This is a global challenge. There’s a lot that we can learn from other countries, sectors and markets around the world."

Stephen Barker spoke on behalf of industry and emphasised the importance of early decision making: "If I am replacing a cement works today, what technology should I put in? Once it's in, I won't be able to justify replacing it for 15 years."

"There’s an awful lot to do between now and 2035; we need to be attacking this challenge in all sectors. This will require investment as well as policies that make these things investable." - Dr David Joffe, CCC