Reaching carbon neutrality—technological paths in other net-zero reports


As more countries announced net-zero ambitions in recent years, modelling and planning reports using net-zero scenarios have become more commonplace around the world. Like this Outlook, these efforts present possibilities for how societies may move towards net-zero emissions, given current technologies and making reasonable assumptions about further innovations.

Since this report has similar aims for Canada, this chapter has two objectives: first, to identify technological paths in reports for other regions of the world, highlighting common ground and key differences in terms of technology and transformations with the results presented in Part 2 of this report; and second, to reflect on the perspectives for Canada if the rest of the world adopts some of these paths and what this means for the country’s own efforts and choices to come.


  • Over the last few years, detailed net-zero reports have been produced for a number of regions and countries. A comparison of four of these reports helps validate Canada’s progress and strategy, while providing a better understanding of the country’s specific challenges.
  • These reports identify a few general consensuses:
    • Massive electrification is required to reach net-zero, calling for investments in grid resiliency and expansion;
    • Negative-emission technologies should only be used to compensate the hardest sectors to decarbonize (i.e., where no carbon-free technologies are foreseeable);
    • Transport is particularly difficult to decarbonize and requires early orientation to support specific infrastructures;
    • Oil and gas production have to decline;
    • Decarbonizing industry is challenging and demands significant research and development efforts;
  • Changes in consumption patterns (not treated in this report) are essential to transform demand.
  • With a largely already decarbonized electricity production, a strong oil and gas production and a diverse industrial basis, Canada must transform its economy more quickly than most of the other OECD countries to reach its climate goals.