Who’s Driving? The Road To Net Zero

A complex web of interactions involving financial institutions, big tech, city governments and grassroots pressure is beginning to show how a net zero future might come about 

We are 30 years away from 2050, but it may as well be 30 seconds to midnight, atmospherically speaking. That is the deadline, we are told, for drastically transforming our world into one that is “net zero” carbon, and so avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. But how will lofty goals be achieved in practice? Net zero plans can be as ambitious as you like, but they will struggle to be widely adopted if they don’t make money or they lack functionality. Meanwhile, the inherent short-termism of financial markets – which will need to drive a multitrillion-dollar investment in low-carbon infrastructure – seems at odds with a three-decade plan offering few immediate paydays.

No one single initiative – public or private – will pave the way for a net zero future. But what is emerging is a complex web of interactions, involving financial institutions, big tech, city governments and grassroots pressure. This is beginning to show how transformational change might come about, even in the most intransigent of sectors.

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