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Net zero: International Energy Agency unveils 7 key principles for zero-carbon future

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Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting suspension of industrial and transport capacities made for carbon emissions reduction by 2 bln tons. Mankind has never seen such a positive change, the International Energy Agency (IEA) report says. According to external statistics, emissions decreased even more - by 2.6 billion tons. However, after easing the quarantine restrictions, they recovered with extraordinary speed: in December 2020, pre-pandemic indicators were already exceeded by 2%.

This is precisely why the International Energy Agency has developed seven key principles for implementing Net Zero. IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol is convinced that these principles should provide a framework for countries to work together and translate their ambitious targets into real emission reductions by putting credible energy policies. 

The seven principles are:

  • Sustainable recoveries can provide a once-in-a-generation down-payment toward net zero;
  • Clear, ambitious and implementable net-zero-aligned roadmaps to 2030 and beyond are critical;
  • Transitions will go faster when learning is shared;
  • Net-zero sectors and innovation are essential to achieve global net zero;
  • Mobilising, tracking and benchmarking public and private investment can be the fuel to achieve net zero;
  • People-centred transitions are morally required and politically necessary; and,
  • Net-zero energy systems also need to be sustainable, secure, affordable and resilient.


"Over 120 countries have so far announced their intention to bring emissions to net zero by the middle of this century. This growing political consensus is a cause for optimism about the world's ability to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. A tremendous amount of work is now needed to turn ambitions into reality," the IEA said.


On May 18, 2021, the IEA will publish the first comprehensive roadmap for the global energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The roadmap will set out a pathway for governments, companies, investors and citizens.

Achieving the goal of the global economy decarbonizing will require significant investment in all low-carbon technologies, namely investing in Europe both in the long-term operation of the existing NPPs as well as in the construction of a considerable amount of new nuclear facilities (meaning the construction of new nuclear facilities with a capacity of about 100 GW). The leaders of seven EU member states recently signed a letter to the President of the European Commission in support of nuclear energy as an affordable technology with zero and low emissions.

By developing its own nuclear facilities, Ukraine adheres to the partnership principles and strategy of a zero-carbon future. In general, if there were no nuclear power plants in Ukraine, carbon emissions would increase by 2.7 billion tons.