Project Management to Net Zero



By Dr. Mark Reeson

United Kingdom

After the release of the latest Forbes report stating that the world needs to invest $9.3 trillion per year until 2050 to make the world carbon net zero, what can project management realistically do over the next twenty-six years to meet this target in terms of two fundamental elements, project delivery and fundraising?

Let’s start though with understanding what Forbes defines as net-zero, to give us a baseline from which to start.

What does ‘Net Zero’ mean?

According to Forbes, ‘net zero is a state of equilibrium where emissions released from Earth into the atmosphere are counterbalanced by an equal amount of emissions removal’.

So first, let’s be realistic and understand what $9.3 trillion means. If you had to pay off $1 billion it would take 32 years, however if I was paying off $1 trillion at a dollar per second, would take nearly 32,000 years. A trillion is a 1 followed by 12 zeros, it is a million, million and looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000. So, if that is $1 trillion and you now start to multiply this by 9.3 and then work out that we would need this money again next year and for every year until 2050, you can start to see how financially this is not a viable option.

So therefore, if it is mission impossible, we should give up now and
then just go home and hope for the best?
Of course not, we are project professionals that know we have a secret power, something
that makes us different from others,
we have the power of change.

With the vast scale of the investment needed to achieve carbon net zero by 2050, as highlighted by the Forbes report, clearly this does present a significant challenge, but also an opportunity for project management and project professionals to play a crucial role in achieving the steps towards this goal, whilst also looking for support from Mother Earth.

How Project Management can contribute through Fundamental Elements 

The following paper investigates the two elements referenced above, project delivery and fundraising and some of the ways project management can contribute to moving towards this target over the next 26 years.


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this paper: Reeson, M. (2024). Project Management to Net Zero; PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue V, May. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/pmwj141-May2024-Reeson-project-management-to-net-zero.pdf

About the Author

Dr Mark Reeson MBA ChPP RPP FAPM

United Kingdom


 Dr Mark Reeson MBA, ChPP, RPP, FAPM is a project management specialist with over thirty-five years’ experience.  A Fellow of the Association for Project Management, he has been involved in many project and programme consultative roles.   Most recently Mark has become a Project Management Consultant working in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East on a variety of PMO and construction projects, for HanmiGlobal Saudi, a South Korean company based in Riyadh.

Still working as an APM ChPP assessor, Mark is committed to the ongoing development of the future generations of project managers.

Mark started his career in the Royal Air Force, serving twenty-four years, before continuing his professional development by training, consulting, and delivering projects in multiple fields of industry including nuclear, pharmaceuticals, finance and the international sporting arena.

As a regular public speaker Mark now shares his experience, knowledge and commitment with those associations wanting to progress project management in a more sustainable and successful manner.  Mark’s next aim is to develop this further and to spread project management knowledge and competency into areas not typically recognised for the discipline to deliver more projects successfully, globally.

Mark can be contacted at mark.reeson@btinternet.com.