KPMG published the Net Zero Readiness Index in 2021,1 a few weeks before the COP26 UN climate change conference in Glasgow. The event resulted in 153 countries putting forward new emissions targets for 2030 and more than 90 percent of world economic output and global emissions being covered by net zero agreements. Attempts to phase out the use of coal, the single biggest contributor to climate change, failed with weaker language to ‘phase down’ its use in the final agreement. COP26’s chairman Alok Sharma said that the conference had kept alive the hope of keeping global temperature increases within 1.5 degrees Celsius this century but added “its pulse is weak.”
The last two years have seen many countries taking steps in the right direction towards net zero, even if most have a long way to go. Some have announced significant new policies to support decarbonization, including the REPowerEU in Europe. Emissions trading schemes are expanding in several countries and the EU is phasing in its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, an idea that other countries look likely to adopt. The bloc is also introducing regulations to block the import of products linked to deforestation, showing how some jurisdictions plan to go further faster to meet net zero pledges.
Next year will see companies in many countries starting to report on their climate change risks and plans.
Renewable energy production continues to expand rapidly around the world, investment is rising fast and there are indications that it is becoming harder to raise funding for some fossil fuel projects. Renewable production and the reshaped electricity grids it requires will inevitably impact on some local environments, their biodiversity and communities. We are going to see more conflicts between the local and the global, but if we want to reach net zero while keeping the lights on, we have to build new power infrastructure somewhere.
These issues are among those discussed in this Net Zero Readiness Report. It explores the readiness of 24 countries based on interviews with local KPMG specialists. This report also examines global trends in sectors that are key to tackling climate change: the economy, electricity, transport, manufacturing, buildings, infrastructure, oil and gas, agriculture and the blue economy.
Across these countries and sectors we can see plenty of examples of progress on decarbonization including growth in electric vehicle sales, although from a low level in most countries. On behalf of all the KPMG specialists involved, we hope this report can contribute to helping organizations quicken their pace on the long walk towards net zero.
Net Zero Readiness Report 2023
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Strong decarbonization targets and robust transition plans to decarbonize business operations and supply chains, together with targets and actions to reduce impacts on nature, are now expected. Boards are under significant pressure to address environmental issues, and it is critical that businesses grasp the implications of climate and nature risks and opportunities.
Head of ESG and Sustainability
KPMG in Saudi Arabia and Levant