Carbon Neutrality Toolkit

Supporting policymakers to make informed decisions towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement.

Action for carbon neutrality is needed now

Climate models indicate that current national actions and international climate targets set in the Paris Agreement and COP26 fall short of delivering carbon neutrality and limiting global warming to 1.5 – 2°C. 

Only bold, immediate, and sustained action can decarbonize energy before it is too late. International cooperation is essential to support all countries in the UNECE region to build resilience of the energy system and to accelerate the energy transition.

Action must start now to maximize the use of all low- and zero-carbon technologies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Recent Publications

There is no single carbon-neutral energy solution

Lifecycle GHG emissions CO2 equivalent per kWh, with regional variations, 2022

Life cycle assesments

Life cycle assessment studies show that there is not a completely carbon-neutral energy solution.

Life cycle assesments compare technologies on the basis of lifetime environmental impact from those with the lowest carbon footprint to those that require significant carbon capture and storage to be carbon neutral.

All technologies require materials and high-temperature processes that result in carbon dioxide emissions. Renewable energy solutions require steel, cement, and silicon. Electric vehicles and grids require rare earth metals in batteries. Hydrogen could leak into the atmosphere and have a negative impact. Energy investments may mean increased emissions today that will save emissions in the future. 

Read the full report on 
Integrated life-cycle 
assesment of 
electricity sources

Governments must act

01. Raise awareness

Raise awareness about the merits of all low- and zero-carbon technologies 

02. Develop policies

Develop policy frameworks in support of carbon neutrality 

03. level the playing field

Create a level-playing field to finance a just transition toward carbon-neutral energy systems 

What are the energy sources of the future?

The biggest carbon dioxide emission reductions require scaling up the electrification of the final energy. system.
The energy supply of a carbon neutrality scenario is one third lower than a reference scenario.   

How much will the transition to net-zero cost?

Carbon neutrality requires a significant shift in the allocation of investment in the future energy systems.
The cost of a carbon neutrality scenario is 1.6 times greater than a reference scenario.   

Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage

Carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil power generation and industrial processes for storage deep underground or re-use. 

UNECE countries need to deploy zero- and negative-carbon technologies to capture 90Gt of ​​carbon dioxide by 2050. 

Carbon neutrality will require rapid deployment of carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) technologies to bridge the gap until innovative, next generation low-, zero-, or negative-carbon technologies are commercialized.

learn more Read the full report on CCUS Read the full report on 
Geologic CO2 storage 
in Eastern Europe, Caucasus 
and Central Asia

Energy intensive industries need innovative low- and zero-carbon technologies

The decarbonization of industry is a top priority to attain carbon neutrality. Energy-intensive industries account for 25% of total carbon dioxide emissions globally.

Hard-to abate sectors will have to adapt to a diverse range of innovative energy options. A variety of low- and zero-carbon technologies will support future industrial processes. Industrial energy efficiency, CCUS, hydrogen, nuclear power and heat, and electrification from renewable energy are vital to achieving a carbon-neutral industry sector.

Policymakers should prepare for sustainable and innovative technology interplay of all low- and zero-carbon technologies to run factories, support high-temperature processes, and remove carbon dioxide as by-products of industrial processes.




Read the full report on 
Energy Intensive Industries

UNECE can help build international cooperation and inclusive dialogue

Coordinated international cooperation will be essential to attain a carbon-neutral energy system. 

UNECE provides a much-needed platform for developing rules, standards, and norms for systemic lifestyle and infrastructural changes. 

Supportive policies, incentives, and regulatory frameworks encourage regional technical cooperation across industry, buildings, and transport for projects of common interest and public-private partnerships. 

The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has developed has found clear pathways for policymakers to attain a carbon-neutral energy system.

Impacts of the carbon neutrality project

International

30+ Countries actively participating in carbon neutrality project implementation.

Development

15+ capacity building workshops delivered on low- and zero-technologies and carbon neutrality frameworks. 

Policies

7+ United Nation's publications on carbon neutrality including technology and policy briefs.

Action

Launch of activities on rebuilding the energy system in Ukraine, and carbon neutrality attainment in Central Asia.

Sharing

Millions of views of the ECE Carbon Neutrality Toolkit at international events, and online.