Global crises have heightened policy uncertainties and efforts to address global climate change. Limited evidence exists in the literature on geopolitical risk's direct and indirect roles in addressing global emissions. In this study, we examine whether geopolitical risk could impede or facilitate efforts to attain a net-zero emissions target through energy transition using panel data for 42 countries from 1990 to 2020. Various econometric techniques were applied in this study to present robust findings and reliable conclusions. Estimates from the Driscoll-Kraay, Lewbel two-stage least squares and method of moment regression techniques consistently showed that countries' geopolitical risk directly increases emissions (total greenhouse gas, carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide). At the same time, energy transition, measured with renewable energy consumption, mitigates these emissions. In addition, evidence from the partial linear functional-coefficient model technique indicates that renewable energy consumption consistently mitigates emissions when geopolitical is minimal (at a minimum and mean level). However, the role of renewable energy consumption in reducing emissions becomes weaker when geopolitical risk is heightened—thus, when geopolitical risk reaches its maximum level. We recommend that efforts to sustain renewable energy transition and maintain geopolitical stability are vital for achieving net-zero emissions and climate change mitigation.