In the context of climate change, it will require an energy transition to a world with net-zero carbon emissions. However, global energy demand is expected to increase significantly over the next few decades, both as a result of rising incomes and increasing population. To arrest the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, overall emissions will need to be reduced to net-zero. A net-zero emissions world is one where remaining emissions are offset elsewhere in the system. This means that ‘negative’ emissions need to be created through applying Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to biomass in electricity generation. The energy system in a net-zero emissions world will be something of a patchwork: different degrees of decarbonisation and energy efficiency will be achieved at different paces, in different places, and in different sectors of the economy. One thing is clear though, that a net-zero emissions world will have significantly greater electrification. To build a net-zero-emissions world, it will require significant developments in technology and technology deployment, high levels of collaboration between all parts of the economy and society, and exceptionally strong policy leadership.
The author is from Shell International.
This article was originally the conference paper for Silk Road Forum 2016 and has been granted authorization to use by Shell International.
Executive summary is based on the article. Copyright © Shell International. All rights reserved.