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Fossil Fuel Transitions Framework: Case studies of the decision-making process for energy and economic development pathways

January 15, 2024

With the global energy sector shifting away from fossil fuels, communities around the world are grappling with complex decisions on how to move toward new sources of energy and economic development in a just, resilient, and sustainable manner. In response to requests from country delegations participating in the Net Zero World Initiative, an analysis was conducted of the decision process and transition pathways for environmental remediation, economic recovery, and infrastructure repurposing in select communities in the United States and Chile.

The Net Zero World Initiative leverages expertise across U.S. government agencies and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE)national laboratories, in partnership with other governments and philanthropies, to accelerate the decarbonization of global energy systems. This whole-of-government approach supports countries committed to raising their climate ambitions by co-creating and implementing highly tailored, actionable technical and investment strategies that put just and sustainable net-zero solutions within reach.

The Net Zero World Initiative enables country partners to harness the convening power and technical expertise of U.S. and international industry, think tanks, and technical institutions. The initiative works with the governments of eight partner countries—Argentina, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia,Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand, and Ukraine—to pursue the following objectives:

• Develop and support ambitious technical, market,and investment strategies for clean energy transformation. The Net Zero World Initiative collaborates with partners to develop country specific technical and investment plans detailing the crosscutting planning and deployment strategies needed at the national, regional, and local levels.

• Deliver holistic support for immediate and sustained transformative projects that maximize overall regional impact. The Net Zero WorldInitiative supports the development of crosssector project pipelines and infrastructure modernization plans for partnering with the private sector and developing robust research, development, demonstration, and deployment partnerships to quickly advance technologies from research to implementation.

• Foster exchange among U.S. leaders and countries to support peer-to-peer learning and confidence building. The Net Zero World Initiative supports exchanges among U.S. states and cities, business leaders, and across countries to inform technical and investment plans and key design and implementation measures, and to enable peer-topeer learning, tailored replication of successes, and confidence building. The initiative also provides implementation support for work force development programs, emphasizing in particular the inclusion of underrepresented groups.The Net Zero World Initiative and its partner countries have identified Just Energy Transitions1as a priority area for cross-sectoral collaboration. Specifically, ensuring sustainable and consistent support of communities affected by the decline of fossil fuels has emerged as a top priority. At the firstNet Zero World ministerial meeting held in Seattle,Washington on August 15, 2023, the Net Zero World multi laboratory team received requests from NetZero World country delegations for decision making support to inform community fossil fuel transitions. As a first step, this analysis examines the decision making processes of fossil fuel transitions in several communities across two countries: the UnitedStates and Chile. The goal is a framework that lifts out key decision-making criteria and learnings from communities that have undergone fossil fuel transitions to help guide those communities engaged in the early planning stages.

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