DUBAI: The World Governments Summit (WGS) Organization has launched a report titled ‘Net Zero: The Countdown Has Begun’, which explores the challenges of global warming and outlines 5 key high-impact actions to drive decarbonisation efforts, in conjunction with the UAE's preparations to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28).

The report, which is launched in partnership with “Arthur D. Little”, issues a reminder of the scale of the climate emergency and the collective action thus far to make a dent in global CO2 emissions. As the 1.5-degree Celsius target grows increasingly out of reach, the report warns that the world has less than 400 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent left to spend until 2050.

The report also highlights that 70 countries, which account for 90% of global GDP and 76% of total emissions[ii], had pledged to reach net zero, and that the world can expect COP28 to yield real results, not just good intentions.

Mohamed Yousef AlSharhan: Accelerating the pace to ensure net zero emissions globally within the least 30 years

Mohamed Yousef AlSharhan, Managing Director of the World Governments Summit Organization, confirmed the importance of partnerships and collaboration between governments, the private sector, and international organizations in achieving sustainable development goals, accelerating responses to the required work to implement available solutions to the challenges of climate change and global warming, and reaching the specified goal of achieving global net-zero emissions in less than three decades.

He added: “As an international platform for the future, to share knowledge and insights, shape future challenges and design innovative solutions, the WGS collaborates with its partners worldwide to chart the necessary course of action to address major environmental challenges that will cast a shadow on the future of humanity, ensuring a sustainable environment for future generations”.

Adnan Merhaba: It's time to achieve net zero emissions goal

Commenting on the topic, Adnan Merhaba, Partner and Energy and Utilities Practice Lead at Arthur D. Little Middle East, said: “Now is the time for corporate leaders to deliver on their net zero promise while charting for green, sustainable growth. This report aims to support these leaders on that journey.”

To support organisations on the decarbonisation journey, ‘Net Zero: The Countdown Has Begun’ takes a sector-by-sector approach, unpacking the transformation challenges and opportunities within four key sectors: utilities, industrials, transportation, and oil and gas.

In addition to providing actionable insights into technology choices, leadership, and strategy implementation, the report draws on real-world examples from global companies including ARAMCO, DHL, Shell, Engie, Siemens, Schneider, and more.

5 High-Impact Actions

With global companies serving as cases in point, the report highlights progress to date and sets out five high-impact actions that organisations can take to move the decarbonisation dial:

  1. Drive a bold net zero transformation: (i) Continuously revisit the scope of the emissions target, (ii) execute an integrated and technology-led whole-of-company transformation programme, and (iii) take stock of decarbonisation progress on a regular basis.
  2. Address emissions reduction and capture growth opportunities: (i) Explore future profit pools resulting from the energy transition while driving down own emissions, (ii) work with customers to uncover growth opportunities, (iii) look for ways to leverage technology and innovation, and (iv) pursue new business models.
  3. Put people at the heart of the net zero transformation: (i) Focus on upskilling/reskilling the current workforce, (ii) develop a focused talent development strategy, and (iii) nurture/onboard new talent.
  4. Ensure the supply chain is keeping up: (i) Collaborate inside and outside of siloed organisational boundaries to anticipate and (ii) bring together supply chain initiatives that need to be in place to get major decarbonisation projects off the ground.
  5. Bring stakeholders along for the journey: (i) Work with different stakeholders to develop common understanding of the plan and action, and (ii) involve funding organisations to find innovative solutions to pressing funding challenges for net zero programmes.