DNV Calls for Urgent Policy Changes and Tech Advancements in Net Zero Emissions Report

DNV Calls for Urgent Policy Changes and Tech Advancements in Net Zero Emissions Report

(IN BRIEF) DNV’s “Pathway to Net Zero Emissions” report emphasizes the need for immediate and lasting emissions reductions to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The report acknowledges that achieving a fully fossil-free energy system by 2050 is unrealistic and instead suggests a significant effort in carbon capture and removal to offset CO2 emissions. To meet the 1.5°C target, 6 gigatons of emissions must be removed annually between 2050 and 2100. The report highlights the challenges and urgent actions required, including technology advancements, policy changes, and behavioral shifts. It also notes that solar power is expected to become the dominant energy source by 2040, overtaking oil and fossil fuels.

(PRESS RELEASE) HØVIK, 10-Nov-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — In a recent report of DNV, the independent energy expert and assurance provider, “Pathway to Net Zero Emissions,” it is emphasized that while limiting global warming to 1.5°C is still theoretically possible, it is becoming increasingly unlikely. The report stresses the need for immediate and permanent cuts in emissions to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The “Pathway to Net Zero Emissions” report is a companion to DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook report, outlining the most viable route to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 while also adhering to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. With CO2 emissions projected to reach record levels in 2023 and even higher levels in the coming years, urgent and lasting reductions in fossil fuel usage are imperative.

However, the report acknowledges that achieving a fully fossil-free energy system by 2050 is not realistic. Instead, it suggests a significant effort in carbon capture and removal to offset the remaining CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and the inevitable “over-shoot” of the carbon budget, which is predicted to be exhausted by 2030.

To meet the 1.5°C target, an annual removal of 6 gigatons (Gt) of emissions between 2050 and 2100 will be necessary. This represents a high-risk endeavor and relies on the scaling of unproven technologies such as direct air capture and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. Nevertheless, the report emphasizes that no viable path to net-zero emissions exists without significant CO2 removal from the atmosphere.

Implementing the roadmaps outlined in the report, both individually and collectively, will be a formidable challenge, as nothing of this magnitude has been attempted before. Success will require substantial contributions from technology and finance, a substantial increase in energy, climate, industrial, and economic policies, and widespread behavioral changes. Additionally, these changes and emission reductions must happen simultaneously.

Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO of DNV, underscores the urgency of the situation: “We have to utilise the full policy toolbox for a faster transition. There is an urgent need to rethink and establish new policies, with international cooperation ensuring ownership of actions across all regions and sectors. It is crucial to stay as far below 2°C as possible, and every action to reduce emissions and accelerate energy transition is important. At this stage, every tenth of a degree of avoided temperature increase is highly important”

While some technologies like solar power and electric vehicles are scaling effectively, others, including hydrogen production and carbon removal, require more rapid scaling. The report emphasizes the need for electricity to make up nearly 50% of the energy mix by 2050, which depends on the rapid expansion of grids, a process that currently faces permitting delays and supply chain challenges. Simultaneously, energy efficiency improvements must be doubled compared to current levels.

Solar power, which is already one of the most cost-effective sources of new electricity in many parts of the world, is expected to outpace oil as the largest energy source by 2040 and surpass all fossil fuels combined by 2050. Solar power is projected to overtake gas-fired electricity to become the leading source of global electricity, with solar and wind dominating electricity production by the late 2030s.

The report also highlights the need for different regions to accelerate their net-zero targets. Following the UNFCCC principle of a joint but distinct responsibility for achieving net zero, the report suggests that GDP per capita will be the main driver for emissions reductions by 2050. All regions must aim to reach their net-zero targets much earlier than currently planned, with the OECD aiming for net zero before 2045, Greater China before 2050, and the rest of the world before 2060.

“To reach global net zero in 2050, high-income regions and leading demand sectors must move further and faster. All regions must achieve their net zero targets almost ten years earlier than stated ambitions,” added Remi Eriksen, Group President and CEO, DNV.

About DNV 

DNV is an independent assurance and risk management provider, operating in more than 100 countries. Through its broad experience and deep expertise DNV advances safety and sustainable performance, sets industry standards, and inspires and invents solutions.

Whether assessing a new ship design, qualifying technology for a floating wind farm, analysing sensor data from a gas pipeline or certifying a food company’s supply chain, DNV enables its customers and their stakeholders to manage technological and regulatory complexity with confidence.

Driven by its purpose, to safeguard life, property, and the environment, DNV helps its customers seize opportunities and tackle the risks arising from global transformations. DNV is a trusted voice for many of the world’s most successful and forward-thinking companies.

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