To get on track to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, the world will need to cut emissions in half this decade. Because that involves massive changes across society, it can be hard to have a clear picture of exactly what it will take to succeed. A new tool called the Climate Action Navigator is designed to help, using data from 22 industries to show how to close the emissions gap.
“There are lots of countries out there with climate commitments, but not a lot of detail in terms of what actually is going to be done to drive that change,” says Simon Cooper, a partner at Oliver Wyman, the consulting firm, which built the free tool through a research arm called Oliver Wyman Forum. “So ,we say we’re going to get to net zero by 2050. That’s all well and good. But what are we doing about it?”
While climate reports often focus on a particular industry or location, the tool takes a high-level view, showing the emissions gap at a global level, and then giving the option to dive into specific details. A “Climate Action Library” lists the most impactful changes that need to happen, with links to more detail—a page about the shift to clean energy, for example, explains what key technologies exist, what has already happened, and what obstacles are slowing down progress.
Companies or policymakers that don’t yet have clear plans in place to cut emissions can use the tool to understand where to focus. The site looks at what has to happen by 2030: To reach the later goal of net zero emissions by 2050, emissions need to be cut in half by the end of the decade. “Net zero by 2050 is very easy to say,” Cooper says. “And it’s not going to happen in our careers. But if you say 2030, then we need to start thinking about what we actually need to do today to get there. I think the world seems to have moved toward that, which is great and needed. But we’re trying to make sure that people realize that this is happening on our watch.”
The goal of halving emissions by 2030 requires “a massive change,” he says. “And we are just not on that trajectory.” Still, he says, there’s some reason for optimism. “But what we’ve seen working with clients, particularly over the last 12 months, is it’s moved from sometimes just not being aware there’s an issue, to clients making a commitment, to now they’ve developed some capabilities, and they are making those changes,” he says. “So they are thinking through, ‘What does this mean for our business?’ This is transformational.”