With decisive actions, net zero energy is within reach in Emerging Europe and Central Asia, says new World Bank report

By IntelliNews Press Release Service February 22, 2024

A new World Bank report released on February 22 lays out pathways for countries in the emerging Europe and Central Asia region to make the shift towards renewable energy and reduce their fossil fuel dependence, highlighting the intertwined benefits of the transition for energy security, sustainable growth and affordability.

The report – Net Zero Energy by 2060: Charting Europe and Central Asia's Journey Toward Sustainable Energy Futures – provides a unique analysis that can help governments in the emerging Europe and Central Asia region prioritise policies and investments necessary to shift their energy systems away from fossil fuels by 2060, which is crucial for keeping global temperature rise below 2°C.

“This report is being released at a particularly alarming moment following the biggest supply shock ever experienced in gas markets, and an increasing rise in global temperatures, which has exceeded 1.5°C compared to historical averages for an entire year,” said Charles Cormier, World Bank Regional Director for Infrastructure in Europe and Central Asia.

“Our analysis provides countries in the Europe and Central Asia region with least-cost pathways towards fulfilling global commitments made at COP28.”

“Our modelling shows that the region can increase its share of clean energy from 9% today to 75% by 2060. This will only be possible with binding national commitments, targeted measures and investments.” Only nine countries in the region set national net zero targets, with just five of them – Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kyrgyzstan and Romania – aiming for 2050, and Turkey for 2053. Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine are looking at a more distant horizon of 2060. Fourteen countries are yet to set national net zero commitments."

According to the report, to achieve net zero by 2060, power systems across the region will need to emit zero net emissions by 2040, commercial buildings by 2050 and residential buildings by 2055. The sectors which are harder to abate – industry and transport – will still likely rely on carbon removal technologies (such as carbon capture and storage, or CCS) for their decarbonisation even in 2060.