If we are going to reach that elusive net-zero goal, then we need some big companies to take the lead in this journey and so we need some real guidance in how the world is going to get there. Fortunately, this is exactly what we are seeing begin to happen, as a new coalition for innovation and technology toward net zero has officially launched earlier this month.
But, first, let’s back up. We often use three-letter acronyms and buzzwords to describe some big effort or tech trend, but I’d rather set the stage, so we are all on the same page, so we know where we are today and where we are going. What exactly is net zero, when do we aim to get there, and who is leading this charge?
Simply, we are eliminating the GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, especially carbon dioxide. The goal is to get at or near zero. Many companies and countries are striving to reach this target by 2030, while others have a more ambitious goal of 2025. Yet, still others have set 2050 as that final mark for completion.
Regardless, many seem to agree that we need to reduce the amount of carbon emitted into the air—and now is the time to do that. As such, six companies have come together to launch CCITNZ (Corporate Coalition for Innovation & Technology toward Net Zero). The founding members include Bechtel, GE, GM, Honeywell, Invenergy, and Johnson Controls.
It is a cross-sector business alliance dedicated to helping countries meet decarbonization and climate change goals through innovation and technology—and it has been working behind the scenes since its creation in late 2021. The goal is to serve as an accelerator for industries across sectors and geographies to innovate and develop breakthrough technologies to help achieve these goals. The coalition also has some interesting objectives that are worth considering.
First, innovation and technology are key, as the coalition aims to promote concrete, practical, and cost-effective technology solutions to tackle emissions and decarbonization challenges.
Second, it aims to promote strong partnerships with stakeholders in the private, public, and social sectors across international venues and forums to enable solutions beyond what any one stakeholder can realize.
Building on this, it also aims to partner with governments and other stakeholders to advance energy security, decarbonization and sustainable development needs.
Next, the coalition has a big focus on policy. It plans to support sound public policies that are consistent with improving environmental effectiveness and foster innovation.
Finally, it aims to provide expertise and thought leadership to governments and other stakeholders on technology and innovation, as they seek to achieve their decarbonization and climate change goals.
All of these objectives are key in order to move forward on this net-zero journey. It’s essential to see a greater effort to net zero, with a mission in mind—together. I would also add we need to consider the people side.
To make these big moves, we can’t forget about the people quotient here. While this is an effort from the top down, we now need to encourage more thinking from the bottom up. We must consider the enormous labor shortfall and how this will impact the economy and how we are going to encourage the right people for these jobs to get to net zero. Simply, the talent shortfall is greatly impacting our ability to execute on the coalition and more.
When will we meet that elusive net-zero goal? Will it be 2025, 2030, 2050, or even further down the road? Perhaps one of the biggest encouraging factors right now is that so many are working together to reach a similar goal. As I always say, we are always better together.
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