The Breakthrough Agenda

The Paris Agreement commits the world to limit the rise in global temperature to well below 2°C, and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C (compared to pre-industrial levels).

To keep that 1.5°C target alive we must halve global emissions by 2030 and reach global net zero emissions by the middle of the century. Key to achieving this will be the Breakthrough Agenda, launched by the United Kingdom and a coalition of 42 world leaders, whose countries collectively represent 70% of global GDP, at the COP26 World Leaders Summit.

The Breakthrough Agenda is an unprecedented international clean technology plan to help keep 1.5°C in reach. It provides a framework for countries and businesses to join up and strengthen their actions every year, in every sector, through a coalition of leading public, private and public-private global initiatives, and signposts the leading global initiatives that will help ensure success.

Bringing together the tools of government with business and financial ingenuity, the Agenda aims to make clean solutions the most affordable, accessible and attractive option in every sector, by the end of this decade.

The first set of government-led Breakthroughs coincides with COP26 and is called the Glasgow Breakthroughs: a series of actions across five key economic sectors that together represent more than 50% of global emissions. Any country can lead its own Breakthroughs and there are also business-led commitments, such as the 2030 Breakthroughs, all of which contribute to The Breakthrough Agenda.

The Glasgow Breakthroughs are the first set of global leader-led common targets under The Breakthrough Agenda.

The commitments set ambitious goals for 2030 to dramatically accelerate the innovation and deployment of clean technologies in five key sectors of the economy – Power, Road Transport, Steel, Hydrogen, and Agriculture.

The Glasgow Breakthroughs aim to make:

POWER Clean power the most affordable and reliable option for all countries to meet their power needs efficiently by 2030.

ROAD TRANSPORT Zero emission vehicles the new normal – accessible, affordable and sustainable in all regions by 2030.

STEEL Near-zero emission steel the preferred choice in global markets, with efficient use and near-zero emission steel production established and growing in every region by 2030.

HYDROGEN Affordable renewable and low carbon hydrogen globally available by 2030.

AGRICULTURE Climate-smart, sustainable agriculture the most attractive and widely adopted option for farmers everywhere by 2030.

The Glasgow Breakthroughs matter because we cannot achieve the 1.5°C target unless we work together in a more focused and sustained way. The Breakthroughs’ goals represent some of the biggest clean technology challenges of the 2020s. But conversely, meeting those challenges head on and delivering on ambitious targets will enable us to clean up the sectors responsible for more than 50 per cent of global emissions: Power, Road Transport, Steel, Hydrogen and Agriculture.

We already have many of the clean technologies we need to halve global emissions by 2030 – from solar and wind generation to zero emission vehicles and hydrogen – bringing in a new, positive future for everyone. The Glasgow Breakthroughs will help rapidly scale up these technologies: increasing their capacity and efficiency, lowering their cost, and creating new industries, jobs and growth, cleaner air, improved health and more resilient economies – while accelerating research, innovation and early market growth of the new technologies we need for the future.

With the Glasgow Breakthroughs, governments are committing to put in place a global action framework for the Power, Road ,Transport, Steel, Hydrogen and Agriculture sectors, and to act domestically to work towards these goals. And, crucially, leaders are committing to measuring global progress, and to reviewing and strengthening their international action every year. The UK COP Presidency will take this forward in 2022 by establishing an ongoing annual Global Checkpoint Process.

Achieving the Glasgow Breakthroughs in these five critical sectors could: 

  • Support the creation of more than 20 million jobs by 2030.
  • Increase world GDP by 4% greater in 2030 than it would otherwise have been.
  • Save two million lives worldwide every year, by halving premature deaths associated with air pollution by 2050 compared to 2020.

All this will only be possible if we turbocharge our progress and work together to make this a decade of delivery. With the Glasgow Breakthroughs, governments are committing to put in place a global policy framework for the Power, Road Transport, Steel, Hydrogen and Agriculture sectors, to act domestically to work towards these targets, and measure progress with the Global Checkpoint Process.

Leaders have committed to driving progress in delivering on the Breakthrough Agenda by annually tracking, measuring and reviewing global progress, ensuring that the Agenda delivers meaningful and urgent impact in this decade. The UK COP Presidency will look to establish this as a new annual Global Checkpoint Process.

The annual Global Checkpoint Process, which will begin in 2022, will track leaders’ commitments and include:

  • an annual gathering of leaders to review global progress and continually strengthen combined efforts;
  • an annual global State of the Transition Report assessing global progress and identifying opportunities for further international coordination gains;
  • an annual Ministerial review of the global State of the Transition around the CEM-MI Ministerials;
  • a drive to make collaborative working a new part of the international climate fabric;
  • support for the move from the sharing of burdens to the sharing of opportunities; and
  • more Breakthrough goals in future to support the Agenda.

The UK is committed to working with all parties to deliver The Breakthrough Agenda over our COP Presidency year and all the way to 2030.

Signatories

 

Australia; Belgium; Canada; Cabo Verde; Chile; China; Denmark; Egypt; European Union; Finland; France; Germany; Guinea Bissau; India; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kenya; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; North Macedonia; Malta; Mauritania; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Nigeria; Panama; Portugal; Republic of Korea; Senegal; Slovakia; Spain; Sweden; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States of America.

Breakthrough: to make clean power the most affordable and reliable option for all countries to meet their power needs efficiently by 2030.

Why? Power is responsible for 23% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The worldwide switch to clean power is imperative, but it is not yet the most affordable or attractive option for everyone, everywhere. To keep 1.5°C in sight, together we must create high levels of affordable, reliable renewables on- and off-grid, increasing renewable generation by 12% annually over the next decade, and quadrupling installed renewables capacity by 2030. Investing in such an energy transition could increase world GDP by 4% more in 2030 than it would have otherwise been, and support 13.8 million jobs in the sector.

Existing progress the Breakthrough will turbocharge: the global coal generation pipeline has collapsed by 76% since the Paris Agreement, and more than 90% of electricity generation now comes from renewables, the cheapest source of new bulk electricity for two-thirds of the world population. Plus, the cost solar PV electricity production is nearly a tenth of what it was a decade ago, and renewable energy now accounts for at least 11.5 million jobs worldwide. But we must move further, faster to decarbonise electricity earlier in line with the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero pathway and ensure no one is left behind in the clean technology transition. The Glasgow Breakthrough on Power brings together the efforts of world leaders to rapidly develop, scale up and deploy clean energy solutions – without such international cooperation, says the International Energy Agency, the global net zero emissions goal would be delayed by decades.

International collaboration: we note the importance of the following international initiatives in making progress towards and coordinating activities towards this Breakthrough:

Endorsed by: Australia; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Canada; Chile; Denmark; Egypt; European Union; Finland; France; Germany; Guinea Bissau; India; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kenya; Lithuania; North Macedonia; Norway; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Nigeria; Panama; Republic of Korea; Serbia; Slovakia; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom; United States of America.

 

Breakthrough: to make near-zero emission steel the preferred choice in global markets, with efficient use and near-zero emission steel production established and growing in every region by 2030.

Why? The global steel industry, which employs more than six million workers, is responsible for 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. To align with the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero pathway, the sector must make a significant shift from coal to electricity in its energy demand use by 2050, from 15% to 70%. To reach the target will require rapid investment and scale-up of innovation, hydrogen and electrification.

Existing progress the Breakthrough will turbocharge: seven out of the ten biggest steel-producing countries have initiated at least one green steel project, while nine companies – representing around 20% of global steel production – have set firm net zero emissions commitments. The Glasgow Breakthrough on Steel brings together global governments to cooperatively accelerate the innovation and create the economies of scale and incentives for investment needed to rapidly create and deploy the solutions to make near-zero emission steel efficient, widespread, and a growing concern by 2030.

International collaboration: we note the importance of the following international initiatives in making progress towards and coordinating activities towards this Breakthrough:

Endorsed by: Australia; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Canada; Denmark; Egypt; European Union; Finland; France; Germany; Guinea Bissau; Holy See; India; Ireland; Israel; Japan; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Norway; Morocco; Namibia; New Zealand; Portugal; Republic of Korea; Slovakia; Spain; Sweden; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States of America.

 

Breakthrough by 2030: to make zero-emission vehicles the new normal by making them accessible, affordable, and sustainable in all regions.

Why? The road transport sector is responsible for 10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. By following the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions 2050 scenario, two million lives could be saved annually by halving premature deaths associated with air pollution.

Existing progress the Breakthroughs will turbocharge: global sales of passenger electric vehicles have more than tripled from three years ago – reaching 8.5 million by the first half of 2021. But we can and will go further, faster.

International collaboration: we note the importance of the following international initiatives in making progress towards and coordinating activities towards this Breakthrough:

Endorsed by: Australia; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Canada; Denmark; Egypt; European Union; Finland; France; Germany; Guinea Bissau; Holy See; India; Ireland; Israel; Japan; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Norway; Malta; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Panama; Portugal; Republic of Korea; Serbia; Sweden; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States of America.

Breakthrough: to make affordable renewable and low carbon hydrogen globally available by 2030.

Why? Hydrogen production from fossil fuels is responsible for 830 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year – with 89% of global CO2 emissions coming from fossil fuels and industry. The production of clean hydrogen is not yet at an affordable scale – though projections suggest that, if international roll-out were coordinated, it could be up to 45% cheaper in 2030, and up to 75% by 2050. The Glasgow Breakthrough on Hydrogen is designed to create the international collaboration that will make such affordability scenarios a reality, delivering a clean energy transition that could create up to 99,000 jobs in the sector.

Existing progress the Breakthrough will turbocharge: more than 20 countries had planned hydrogen strategies as of October 2021, and the sector has announced more than 350 projects in development. Globally, governments have committed more than USD 37 billion in public funding to hydrogen development, while the private sector has announced an investment of a further USD 300 billion. But global spending on hydrogen energy research, development and demonstration remains lower than its peak in 2008: current international action on hydrogen must go further, faster, to help deliver on the 1.5°C climate target. This Breakthrough creates actions for governments to coordinate on rapidly scaling up and rolling out the technology, such as investment to accelerate industrial carbon capture and hydrogen, bridging the gap between industrial energy costs from gas and hydrogen and helping green hydrogen projects get off the ground.

International collaboration: we note the importance of the following international initiatives in making progress towards and coordinating activities towards this Breakthrough:

Endorsed by: Australia; Azerbaijan; Belgium; Canada; Chile; China; Denmark; Egypt; European Union; Finland; France; Germany; Guinea Bissau; Holy See; India; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Kenya; Lithuania; Norway; Mauritania; Morocco; Namibia; Netherlands; Portugal; New Zealand; Panama; Republic of Korea; Serbia; Slovakia; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom; United States of America.

Breakthrough by 2030: to make climate-smart, sustainable agriculture the most attractive and widely adopted option for farmers everywhere by 2030.

Why? The agriculture sector is responsible for 11% of global greenhouse gas emissions – from the release of nitrous oxide from agricultural soils, methane from livestock and manures, and energy for cultivation, with further indirect emissions from deforestation for land use, transportation of goods, and energy use. It is also the primary driver of biodiversity loss, the primary user of freshwater and a major driver of tropical deforestation. We must be unified in our approach to meeting these multiple challenges and making sustainability in the sector affordable and attractive as soon as possible.

Existing progress the Breakthroughs will turbocharge: the diffusion of modern crop varieties has reduced world grain prices by 20% and increased global food production by 5%. It has reduced infant mortality by between 13-30% across the developing world –averting up to six million infant deaths each year – while increasing GDP per capita by at least 20%. On Power, Road Transport, Steel and Hydrogen, countries have already endorsed the  Breakthrough goal, the metrics by which it could be measured, and leading initiatives for international collaboration through which it could be achieved. For Agriculture, the UK has committed to working with all interested parties over the course of its Presidency year (2022) to develop similar consensus around the Breakthrough goal, the metrics and the additional priority initiatives that can support the delivery of the Agriculture Breakthrough.

International collaboration: As well as international institutions and region-specific initiatives, the following international initiatives have already expressed their willingness to work with countries to develop a full Agriculture Breakthrough