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Are you overwhelmed by the Climate Crisis? John Doerr’s New Book Will Give You Guidance | by Maria Leis | Climate Conscious | Apr, 2022

Are you overwhelmed by the Climate Crisis? John Doerr’s New Book Will Give You Guidance | by Maria Leis | Climate Conscious | Apr, 2022

Overwhelmed by the Climate Crisis? John Doerr’s New Book Will Give You Guidance | by Maria Leis | Climate Conscious | Apr, 2022

The OKR mastermind’s action plan for getting to net-zero by 2050

Photo by Speed & Scale

The climate crisis is a historic challenge. It is often overwhelming for me to think about it or work on it..A single contribution feels like a drop in a rising ocean. I am more aware of climate change’s complexity the more I learn.

Some people are able to reduce complexity without reducing its meaning. John Doerr’s action plan is one of my favorite examples. It helps us to understand the historical context of the challenge, and provides measurable action points to help us see where we are now and what we need to do.

Doerr is right to point out that

“for the math to work at this titanic scale, we’ll need to get more people in motion and more technologies deployed and more new ones invented than at any time in human history. We’ll also need more money and so much more leadership and unity if we’re going to save a habitable planet.”

In his famous business book “Measure What Really Matters,” the venture capitalist Doerr outlined a revolutionary approach to goal-setting — Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).. OKRs are widely used. They encourage organizations to concentrate on a few essential targets and break them down into actionable results.

John Doerr applied the OKR method now to the most serious and grave problem of our times, the climate crisis. In his recently published book “Speed & Scale,”Doerr presents a plan to achieve the ambitious goal, a global warming of less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

His high-level plan of action literally fits on a napkin.

Net-Zero by 2050 (halfway to 2030)

  1. Electrify Transportation
  2. Decarbonize your Grid
  3. Fix Food
  4. Protect Nature
  5. Clean Up Industry
  6. Reduce carbon

Tools: Policy & Politics, Movements, Innovation, Investment

John Doerr then breaks down the first six objectives into tangible results. Objectives 7–10, Policy & Politics, Movements, Innovation, and Investment, are so-called “Accelerant Objectives.” They mark the tools to be used to solve the tremendous problem.

Here’s a Summary of his action plans, published in Speed & Scale.

Objective 1 — Electrify Transportation — Reduce eight gigatons of transportation emissions to two gigatons by 2050.

KR 1.1PriceEVs will achieve price-performance parity in 2024 with new combustion engines in the U.S. ($35K) and in India and China by 2030 ($11K).

KR 1.2 Cars: EVs will make up one of two new personal cars in 2030, and 95% in 2040.

KR 1.3Buses and trucks:All new buses must be electric by 2025. By 2030, 30% of medium trucks and heavy trucks will have zero emission vehicles. 95% trucks by 2045 will also be zero-emission.

KR 1.4 5 Gt Miles: By 2040, 50% of the miles driven (2-wheelers, 3-wheelers, cars, buses, and trucks) on the world’s roads are electric and by 2050, 95% of miles driven are electric. ↓ 5 Gt

KR 1.5 Planes:20% of all miles will be travelled using low-carbon fuel by 2025 and 40% by 2040. ↓ 0.3 Gt

KR 1.6 0.6 Gt Maritime: By 2030, shift all new construction to “zero-ready”. ↓ 0.6 Gt

Objective 2 — Decarbonize the Grid — By 2050, reduce 24 gigatons of global electricity and heating emissions to 3 gigatons.

KR 2.1Zero Emissions: By 2035, 50% will come from zero-emissions electricity sources. By 2025, 90% will be generated from zero emission sources. This is an increase of 38% from 2020.* ↓ 16.5 Gt

KR 2.2Solar and wind:Solar and wind will be cheaper to build and operate in 2025 than emitting sources in 100% countries (up from 67% by 2020).

KR 2.3 Storage Electricity: By 2025, storage is below $50 per kWh for short duration (4–24 hours) and by 2030, $10 per kWh for long duration (14–30 days).

KR 2.4Coal and gas: No new coal or gas plants after 2021; existing plants to retire or zero out emissions by 2025 for coal and by 2035 for gas (timeline for developed countries, 5–10 years more for developing countries).

KR 2.5 Methane EmissionsBy 2025, all leaks, venting and most flaring from coal and oil sites will be eliminated. ↓ 3 Gt

KR 2.6 Heating and cooking: By 2040, cut gas and oil for heating and cooking in half (timeline for developed countries, 5–10 years more for developing countries).↓ 1.5 Gt

KR 2.7 Clean Economy By 2035, reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase energy efficiency to quadruple clean energy productivity rate (GDP ÷ fossil fuel consumption).

Objective 3 — Fix Food Reduce agricultural emissions — By 2050, go from 9 gigatons to 2 gigatons.

KR 3.1 Farm SoilsYou can improve soil health by reducing the carbon content of topsoils to a minimum 3%. 2 Gt ↓ 2 Gt

KR 3.2 Fertilizers: Stop overusing nitrogen-based fertilizers. Develop greener alternatives to reduce emissions by half by 2050. 0.5 Gt ↓ 0.5 Gt

KR 3.3 Consumption:Promoting lower-emission proteins by reducing beef and dairy consumption by 25% and 50% respectively by 2030 and 2050. ↓ 3 Gt

KR 3.4 Rice: To reduce methane emissions from rice cultivation by 50% by 2050 0.5 Gt ↓ 0.5 Gt

KR 3.5Food WasteReduce the food waste ratio from 33% to 10%. ↓ 1 Gt

Objective 4 — Protect Nature — By 2050, go from 6 gigatons of emissions to -1 gigaton.

KR 4.1 Forests:Net-zero deforestation by 2030; stop destructive practices and logging in primary forest. 6 Gt ↓ 6 Gt

KR 4.2 Oceans: By 2030, deep-sea bottom fishing must be eliminated and oceans must be protected at least 30%. By 2050, 50% of oceans will be protected. ↓ 1 Gt

KR 4.3 Lands: Protected land will be expanded from 15% to 30% by 2030, and to 50% by 2050.

Objective 5 — Clean Up Industry Reduce — By 2050, 12 gigatons of industrial emissions to 4 gigatons.

KR 5.1 Steel:Reduce the total carbon intensity in steel production by 50% by 2030 and 90% by 2040. ↓ 3 Gt

KR 5.2 Cement:Reduce the cement production’s total carbon intensity by 25% by 2030 and 90% by 2040 2 Gt ↓ 2 Gt

KR 5.3Other IndustriesTo reduce emissions from other industrial sources, such as plastics, chemicals and paper, by at least 80% by 2050 2 Gt ↓ 2 Gt

Objective 6 — Remove Carbon — Remove 10 gigatons of carbon dioxide per year

KR 6.1 Nature-Based Removal:In 2025, we will eliminate at least one gigaton per day, three gigatons by 2030 and five gigatons in 2040. 5 Gt ↓ 5 Gt

KR 6.2Engineered removal:By 2030, at least 1 gigaton per day will be eliminated, 3 gigatons in 2040, 5 gigatons in 2050, and 4 gigatons in 2050. 5 Gt ↓ 5 Gt

Objective 7 — Win Politics and Policy

KR 7.1 Commitments: By 2050, each country enacts a national commitment to reach net-zero emissions and gets at least halfway there by 2030 (timeline for developed countries, 5–10 years more for developing countries).

KR 7.1.1 Power: Set a requirement for the electricity sector to reduce emissions by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030.

KR 7.1.2 Transportation:Decarbonize all new cars and buses by 2035; freight ships by 2030; semi trucks by 2045; and 40% of flights carbon neutralized by 2040

KR 7.1.3 Buildings:For new residential constructions, enforce zero-emissions building standards by 2025. Commercials must be completed by 2030. And ban the sale of non-electrical equipment until 2030.

KR 7.1.4 Industry:At least half-way through 2040 and then completely by 2050, we will be eliminating fossil fuels from industrial processes.

KR 7.1.5Carbon LabelingAll goods should bear emissions-footprint labels

KR 7.1.6 LeaksControl flaring, ban venting, and demand prompt capping of methane leaking.

KR 7.2 Subsidies:End direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuel companies and harmful agricultural practices

KR 7.3Carbon Price: Set national prices on greenhouse gases at a minimum of $55 per ton, rising 5% annually (timeline for developed countries, 5–10 years more for developing countries).

See Also
CommonWealth Magazine

KR 7.4Global Bans: Prohibit HFCs in refrigerants and ban single use plastics for non-medical purposes.

KR 7.5 Government R&D: Double (at least) public investment in research and develop; increase it fivefold for the United States.

Accelerant Objective 8 — Turn Movements into Action

KR 8.1 Voters: The climate crisis will be a top-two vote issue in 2025 for the twenty countries with the highest emissions.

KR 8.2 Government: A majority of government officials — elected or appointed — will support the drive to net-zero.

KR 8.3 Business:All Fortune Global 500 companies must immediately commit to reaching net zero by 2040.

KR 8.3.1 Transparency:All these companies must publish transparency reports about their emissions by 2022.

KR 8.3.2 Operations:These companies will achieve net zero by 2030 (electricity, vehicles and buildings).

KR 8.4 Education EquityThe world will have universal primary and second education by 2040.

KR 8.5Health Equity: In 2040, all gaps in the rates of greenhouse gas-related deaths will be eliminated across all racial and socioeconomic groups.

KR 8.6Economic EquityGlobal clean energy transition creates 65 millions new jobs. These jobs are equally distributed and outpace the loss of fossil fuel jobs.

Accelerant Objective 9 — Innovate!

KR 9.1 Batteries:Produce 10,000 GWh of battery annually by 2035 at less than $80 per Kilowatt.

KR 9.2 Electricity:2030: Zero-emission baseload power costs will reach $0.02 per kWh. Peak-demand power will reach $0.08 per kWh.

KR 9.3Green HydrogenProducing hydrogen from zero-emissions sources costs $2.0 per kilogram by 2030 and $1.0 per kilogram by 2040.

KR 9.4 Carbon RemovalThe cost of engineered carbon dioxide reduction will drop to $100 per tonne by 2040 and $50 per tonne by 2030.

KR 9.5 Carbon-Neutral Fuels:In 2035, synthetic fuel will be $2.50 per gallon (jet fuel) and $3.50 (gasoline).

Accelerant Objective 10 — Invest!

KR 10.1 Financial Incentives:Global government subsidies and support for clean energies should be increased from $128 billion to $600billion

KR 10.2 Government R&D: Increase public-sector funding of energy R&D from $7.8 billion to $40 billion a year in the U.S.; other countries should aim to triple current funding.

KR 10.3 Venture Capital:Increase capital investment in private companies from $13.6 billion – $50 billion per annum

KR 10.4 Project Financing: Increase zero emission project financing from $300 billion up to $1 trillion annually

KR 10.5Philanthropic InvestingIncrease philanthropic dollars by $10 billion to $30 Billion per year

One of the key takeaways I got from the book is that climate action requires a broad range, including innovation and politics. Check out Speed & Scale’s Website Learn more about the book and how your organization can help solve the climate crisis.

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