10 Ways to Win the Global Race to Net-Zero

Global insights to inform Canadian climate competitiveness

It's time for Canada to get out of the starting blocks in the race to net-zero. This report points to early wins in Sweden, Germany, New Zealand and other leading nations, offering five solutions and five strategies for Canada to implement.

By Dan Woynillowicz, Estan Beedell, Peter Wooders on May 26, 2021
  • We all heard @IEA @fbirol say it: "No new investments in oil, gas and coal, from now—from this year." The global race to #NetZero is on and there's no turning back. Who's in the lead, and how can #Canada catch up?

  • The recent @IEA report & numerous other studies have found that hitting #NetZero by 2050 is feasible. But it demands systemic transformation & cooperation across sectors, plus the will to act boldly. Is #Canada ready?

With each passing day, more countries—and, increasingly, more companies—pledge to limit global warming to 1.5°C by reaching net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Collectively, countries with net-zero targets represent 61% of global GHG emissions, 68% of global GDP, and 52% of the global population. Companies with net-zero commitments together represent sales of nearly USD 14 trillion.

Net-zero is the new normal.

And a growing body of research, modelling, and analysis is beginning to paint a picture of how countries can get to this point by mid-century. Across all the studies, there are several findings that stand out:

  1. Energy efficiency and electrification—substituting clean power for fossil fuels—have the capacity to deliver the greatest contribution.
  2. While most efforts to date have focused on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, we must also reduce other greenhouse gas emissions, such as methane and hydrofluorocarbons. 
  3. The decarbonization of heavy industry is challenging but essential, and hydrogen could prove a key enabler of these reductions.


Report details

Climate Change Mitigation
COVID-19 and Resilient Recovery
Focus area
IISD, 2021