Many companies in the energy and process industries have committed to a Net Zero program. Their aim is to cease net emissions of greenhouse gases by a specific year, often 2050. In order to properly define their goal these companies need to identify the emissions for which they are responsible.
Many organizations — both government agencies and private companies — have adopted the mantra ‘Net Zero by 2050’. They have declared that they will emit no greenhouse gases from any of their operations just 30 years from now. This commitment covers all types of activity: domestic, transportation, industry — everything. (The word ‘Net’ in the phrase does provide some wriggle room. Some activities, such as air travel, will continue to emit CO2 — the principal greenhouse gas.
When discussing Net Zero programs a question that people in the energy and process industries frequently ask is, “How will it affect my career? What do I need to do to stay employed?” Professionals in those industries are rightly concerned that their skills will be less needed in a rapidly changing world, particularly in a world where oil companies have stated that they intend to leave the oil business. And who can blame them for their concern? Change is coming, and change is threatening.
The term “Kodak Moment” originally referred to a rare or special occasion that was captured on (Kodak) film. The term has also come to describe a situation in which a company fails to foresee structural changes in its industry such that the company eventually falls into bankruptcy.
The Paris Agreement
In the year 2015 leaders from almost all the nations of the world met in Paris, France. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a program for addressing the looming climate change crisis. Their work resulted in the publication of the ‘Paris Agreement’, also known as COP 21 (Conference of the Parties Number 21).
There are many opinions to do with climate change — its causes, its effects, how quickly it is happening, and whether it is even happening at all. Therefore, the United Nations created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the year 1988 in order to provide world leaders with authoritative guidance. At its web site the IPCC says,
The transition to Net Zero poses many, many problems. It is much more complicated than simply switching from one form of energy to another and then going on with Business as Usual. Net Zero implies a radical transformation of the way industry works — in effect, a second Industrial Revolution. (The first Industrial Revolution is better called the Fossil Fuel Revolution — it occurred when we learned how to exploit the buried energy embedded in coal, oil and gas.)
Renewable Energy. M.C. Escher's Waterfall (1961)
Renewables are growing faster than other sources of energy.