McKinsey launches new climate technology effort to accelerate decarbonization

Today, we’re pleased to announce the launch of the McKinsey Platform for Climate Technologies (MPCT) to help clients identify, develop, deploy, and scale technologies for transforming carbon intensive products, services, and systems.  Part of McKinsey Sustainability, which launched a year ago this month, MPCT is the newest firm initiative working to help all industry sectors achieve net zero by 2050 and halve carbon emissions by 2030.

“The net-zero equation is not yet solved,” says McKinsey senior partner Mark Patel, who co-leads MPCT, “but we are optimistic that it can be with bold action and smart innovation. Climate technologies are a necessary part of the solution, and leaders must respond to the urgency of this moment by adopting and scaling them at an unprecedented pace. Through MPCT, we can help them accelerate value creation, realize their most ambitious business objectives and emerge as net-zero champions both within and beyond their respective industries.” 

Over the last 18 months, companies across industries have reached an inflection point on commitments and targets to achieve net zero. While emissions reductions will be essential to avoiding the worst effects of climate change, recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change make clear there is currently no pathway to keeping global temperature increases within 1.5C without permanently removing gigatons of CO2 already present in the atmosphere and ocean. 

The world therefore needs leaders to ‘break the curve’ to adopting mature sustainable technologies faster; innovating, deploying, and scaling—at unprecedented speed—technologies with the potential to transform every industry, region, and community. While technologies such as wind and solar are already cost competitive with fossil fuels, these need to scale faster, and they alone will not get us there. “This is a clear opportunity to create sustainable growth,” explains McKinsey senior partner and MPCT co-leader Martin Linder. “Across industries, we see significant near-term value-at-stake residing in sustainability technologies that are ready for commercial scaling, along with a long tail of emerging climate technologies that will reach commercial maturity within the next decade.”

MPCT is structured around 10 technologies that are critical to decarbonize our society, ranging from hydrogen and battery storage to alternative proteins and nature-based solutions. We will partner with clients as they embrace these technologies at scale and work to protect our planet, helping them define the role of climate technologies in the net-zero agenda, build climate-technologies businesses, and launch tech-enabled decarbonization transformations. Through more than 50 proprietary assets across technologies, and teamwork between our own distinctive talent and leading experts in the field, we’ll help clients anticipate and respond to the impact of new technologies and revolutionize the way they think about established technologies.

Climate technology is the single most important contributor to the decarbonization transition. Leaders must embrace and scale it now to drive sustainable growth for their organizations—and a sustainable future for the planet

Bernd Heid, McKinsey senior partner and MPCT co-leader

Our research and insights, meanwhile, will help leaders understand the latest on climate technologies and required system changes, covering areas including capital investment requirements, scaling economics, prices, regulations, environmental impact, and much more. To drive collaboration and joint action in the development and deployment of climate technologies, we will convene disruptors and leading players alike in the climate technology ecosystem and partner with organizations on the frontlines of climate innovation. These include the Hydrogen Council, the Long Duration Energy Storage Council, and the Coalition for Negative Emissions, with whom we most recently published an exhaustive analysis of negative emissions and their centrality to achieving 1.5°C pathways.

“Climate technology is the single most important contributor to the decarbonization transition,” says McKinsey senior partner Bernd Heid, an MPCT co-leader. “Leaders must embrace and scale it now to drive sustainable growth for their organizations—and a sustainable future for the planet.”

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