Insights on the net-zero transition

Reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 – and thus limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels – would involve profound economic and societal shifts. McKinsey analysis offers a window into what it would take across sectors and regions.

The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring

Governments and companies worldwide are pledging to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases. What would it take to fulfill that ambition? This McKinsey report offers a detailed look at the economic and societal impact of the transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Featured insights

Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The net-zero transition in the wake of the war in Ukraine: A detour, a derailment, or a different path?

– The invasion of Ukraine will, at least initially, complicate the transition path to a net-zero economy, but this tragic development... could still prove to be a turning point in accelerating progress in the medium run.
Article

Delivering the climate technologies needed for net zero

– Developing and deploying climate technologies is critical for the world’s net-zero agenda. Growth could await businesses willing... to innovate quickly and to collaborate across value chains.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Playing offense to create value in the net-zero transition

– Decarbonization will reshape the economy, opening new markets and imperiling others. Now is the moment for companies to spot green... growth opportunities and move boldly to take advantage.

Regional insights

Article

Navigating America’s net-zero frontier: A guide for business leaders

– The US government has a goal: net-zero emissions by 2050. Our analysis maps out a pathway to this net-zero frontier—and the growth opportunities that $27 trillion of capital spending could create.
Article

Asia’s net-zero transition: Opportunity and risk amid climate action

– For Asia-Pacific, the journey to net zero could bring both challenges and rewards. McKinsey analysis highlights the transition’s... socioeconomic effects—and the ways stakeholders might respond.
Report

How the European Union could achieve net-zero emissions at net-zero cost

– The decarbonization pathways to a net-zero Europe are countless, but not all are cost optimal. We explore one pathway that could... reduce the EU’s emissions 55 percent by 2030 while delivering broad economic benefits.
Executive Briefing

Green Africa: A growth and resilience agenda for the continent

– How the global climate agenda creates opportunities for Africa to build resilience, catalyze sustainable growth, and contribute... to the net-zero transition.
Article

How the net-zero transition would play out in countries and regions

– All 69 countries we looked at in depth face some exposure to the transition. Lower-income and fossil fuel resource-producing countries... would need to spend more relative to GDP to build a low-emissions economy and support economic development.

Sign up for emails on new Sustainability articles

Never miss an insight. We’ll email you when new articles are published on this topic.

The Net-Zero Transition by Sector

Article

Infrastructure for a net-zero economy: Transformation ahead

– Eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions would entail major changes to the world’s stock of infrastructure assets. New McKinsey... analysis measures the shifts that could take place during this transition.
Report

Green corridors: A lane for zero-carbon shipping

– Zero-emission fuels and vessels will need to start being deployed at scale over the next decade to achieve full decarbonization... of the shipping sector by 2050. This ambitious goal could be catalyzed by green corridors.
Article

Sectors are unevenly exposed in the net-zero transition

– Economic sectors with high-emissions products or operations would face substantial effects on demand, production costs, and employment.
Article

How airlines can chart a path to zero-carbon flying

– The coronavirus crisis will transform aviation, giving airlines their best chance yet to address climate change. Sustainable fuels... are a key part of that strategy.
Article

Climate risk and the opportunity for real estate

– Real-estate leaders should revalue assets, decarbonize, and create new business opportunities. Here’s how.
Collection

Decarbonizing the world’s industries: A net-zero guide for nine key sectors

The sectors that produce the majority of global greenhouse-gas emissions face a steep challenge to decarbonize, but our research... shows that solutions are within reach. In many cases, a transformation is well underway. This collection draws together articles and reports that lay out a pathway to net zero for nine emissions-intensive industries

Net-Zero Perspectives

Interview

Ørsted’s renewable-energy transformation

– Twelve years ago, the Danish energy company made most of its money from fossil fuels. Today, it’s the world’s leading offshore-wind... power producer. The head of Ørsted’s offshore-wind business tells the story of this change.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

Asia at the speed of light: An interview with the head of ReNew Power

– The energy transition will remake Asia, says Sumant Sinha, managing director of ReNew Power.
Interview - McKinsey Quarterly

‘Bring the problem forward’: Larry Fink on climate risk

– The physical impact of climate change will lead to a major capital reallocation, says the head of BlackRock, the world’s largest... asset manager.
Blog Post

Watch the replay: Leading voices discuss implications of the net-zero transition

– Gillian Tett of the FT moderates a conversation with Mark Carney, Rajiv Shah, and Francesco Starace on navigating the challenges... ahead.

Featured interactive

Interactive - McKinsey Quarterly

The 1.5-degree challenge

– Holding warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels could limit the most dangerous and irreversible effects of climate change.

Learn more

Environmental Sustainability

Our strategy helps us minimize the impact our firm has on the environment.

McKinsey Sustainability

Working with clients to lead a wave of innovation and economic growth that safeguards our planet and advances sustainability.

Connect with McKinsey Sustainability