We need to get to zero

Every year, the world adds approximately 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, trapping heat and driving up global temperatures. The only way to avoid the worst impacts of climate change is to stop adding greenhouse gases by 2050.

We need an unprecedented technological transformation that gets us from the greenhouse gas-producing tools we currently rely on to a new set of innovations powerful enough to give everyone in the world access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy.

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The World Needs Breakthroughs

My basic optimism about climate change comes from my belief in innovation. The conditions have never been more clear for backing energy breakthroughs. It’s our power to invent that makes me hopeful.
Bill Gates

Getting to Zero

Getting to net-zero will be an enormous challenge. It means transforming virtually every activity in modern life and every major sector of the economy: electricity, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and buildings. Yet we’re optimistic that the world can rise to this challenge.

Getting to Zero Requires

Climate change can seem like a problem that’s either too far down the road or too big to solve. But we know the main sources of the majority of today’s global greenhouse gas emissions: manufacturing (31 percent), electricity (27 percent), agriculture (19 percent), transportation (16 percent), and buildings (7 percent). We call these the Five Grand Challenges of climate change. To get to zero, we will have to tackle all five.

The Five Grand Challenges

To help us understand where we need to innovate first, we use a calculation we call the Green Premium. The Green Premium is the additional cost that comes with choosing a clean technology over one that emits a greater amount of greenhouse gases.

Many existing energy options have a built-in advantage of being less expensive than newer green ones. That’s because their price does not factor in the environmental damage they cause around the world. Our goal is to reduce the Green Premium through programs, investments, and policies that help bring down the costs of clean technologies, so consumers and industries will use them. 

The Green Premium

We need to change the way we live across nearly every sector of the economy. But there’s no magic bullet. No single person, policy, or technology can do it alone. That’s why we’re bringing together a broad and diverse set of stakeholders - including governments, the research and scientific communities, investors, and citizens across the globe to support the groundbreaking innovations and smart policies that can get us to zero.

Scaling Innovation

At Breakthrough Energy, we’re helping the world get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while making sure everyone has access to the clean, affordable, and reliable energy they need to thrive.

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