A new report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, charts a challenging but feasible course ahead for many sectors in achieving net zero emissions. The report warns that delayed action could result in significantly worse losses and damages, including trillions of dollars worth of stranded fossil fuel assets.
In this Earth Day episode of ESG Insider, we talk with a contributing author to the report, John Bistline. John is Program Manager in the Energy Systems and Climate Analysis Group at the Electric Power Research Institute, or EPRI. He explains that a low-carbon future will depend on transforming energy systems that rely on electricity or fossil fuels to operate. And he talks about the potential challenges energy systems face in pursuing net zero emissions by 2050, and the actionable takeaways in the report for companies.
"The next steps are thinking about these credible commitments to public policy, private investment, to innovation. And in the near term, that may mean doubling down on options that previous decades have helped to make cheap," he says. "We're also going to see a lot of work trying to scale the technologies that are needed to reach net zero emissions across the economy. And I think in order to do that, there's going to be a lot of interest, a lot of investment in these options that today are sort of more at a pilot scale."