What will it take to build a net-zero economy by 2050?

Shot of pine trees
Photo by Arnaud Mesureur on Unsplash
Clare Kelly
by Clare Kelly
16 January 2020

No company can reach net-zero emissions alone – nor can we build a net-zero economy by working in isolation. 

This is the key takeaway from The B Team’s latest publication: Net-Zero Economy Report 2020 - highlighting that companies must work with each other and engage a wider range of stakeholders. 

To keep the promise of the Paris Agreement our entire economy needs to transform, and to do this each economic lever must be engaged. Together we must reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in alignment with the 1.5°C trajectory, outlined by the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Richard Branson standing next to a lady in a red top and speaking into a megaphone
Image from The B Team

Net-zero by 2050 targets have seen a meteoric rise since The B Team published their 2018 progress report, and while we have seen some progress in commitments from companies, further collaboration and action is needed to meet the challenge at hand. 

According to The B Team, companies must take a multi-stakeholder approach – opening dialogue both internally, with employees and unions, and externally, with historically hard-to-reach stakeholders like civil society. 

The transition to net-zero is time-dependent – it must be fast, but it must also be fair. Many companies (including the world’s largest renewable energy producers) are leading the way forward by taking the Business Pledge for Just Transition and Decent Green Jobs, but more must now join them.

Mary Robinson with text. The Climate Crisis is upon us and people everywhere must come together to drive unprecedented action
Image from The B Team

As we work toward COP26 this year, the Net-Zero Economy Report - 2020 makes it clear that radical collaboration is necessary to meet these climate targets and reduce environmental and economic losses. Only by working together will we unlock the opportunities these challenges hold.

The B Team was formed and incubated in 2013 by Virgin Unite and a group of partner organisations with a collective mission to catalyse a movement of business leaders driving better ways of doing business for the wellbeing of people and our planet. 

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