To achieve net-zero by 2050, a new report says governments and companies must shell out trillions to achieve this lofty goal. 

BloombergNEF’s New Energy Outlook says global decarbonization will cost $215 trillion between now and 2050—a 19% increase from current estimates—to meet the Paris Climate Accord’s goal of not warming 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Another recent study found costs to phase out fossil fuels would average $19 trillion to $59 trillion annually

“Aligning with a net-zero trajectory will require an immediate peaking of emissions and fossil-fuel use across the global energy system – spanning the power, transport, industrial and building sectors,” the report noted. “A fully decarbonized global energy system by 2050 could come with a $215 trillion price tag – not an insignificant amount, but only 19% more than in an economics-driven transition, where the Paris Agreement goals are missed and global warming reaches 2.6C.”

What else does the report recommend to hit these targets? Among its recommendations, there will be no new gas-powered cars sold after 2034 and 1.5 billion electric vehicles (EV) globally. They also want wind and solar capacity to reach 31 terawatts (TW) despite having the lowest capacity factors.

Unsurprisingly, the Biden administration is aggressively pushing policies to fully decarbonize the U.S. by 2050—long after he leaves office and can no longer be held accountable. Nevertheless, net-zero is impossible to achieve nor is it economically feasible or environmentally sustainable. 

I broke down the economic costs of transitioning away from fossil fuels in a October 2022 Unicorn Fact Check:

Further analysis found that from 2023 to 2040, net-zero policies would result in an average annual income loss for a family of four of $5,100 and a total income loss for the same family of more than $87,000 over the 18-year time horizon. Electricity costs are expected to increase by 23% per year, and net-zero policies could add up to $2 per gallon on gas. 

These costs don’t even include the cost of transitioning away from traditional energy sources. To achieve net zero, the U.S. will be required to spend an estimated $275 trillion by 2050.

For context, the U.S. GDP is $28.28 trillion dollars. One estimate says decarbonization, a la the Green New Deal, will cost $7.7 trillion and only lower temperatures by less than 0.2 degrees by 2100. 

Our energy mix is as follows: 36% petroleum/oil, 33% natural gas, 13% renewables, 10% coal, and 8% nuclear. 

The U.S., like the rest of the world, isn’t looking to abandon coal, oil, and natural gas anytime soon. Plus, solar and wind power shortcomings are increasingly coming to light. That’s why more Americans want nuclear power to supplement fossil fuels.