“Bringing greenhouse gas emissions from the global energy sector to net zero and limiting global warming to 1.5°C remains achievable thanks to record growth in key clean energy technologies, although momentum must increase rapidly in many areas of the world ”.
It is the premise from which thelatest report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) with which it updates the “Net Zero Roadmap”, his roadmap to zero carbon emissions globally. The document arrives two years after the “original” report published in 2021 and indicates new ambitious goals to be achieved to stay on track: “First of all, it is necessary for almost all countries to respect the dates set for net zero emissions . To achieve this, much will depend on investment flow which will be mobilized between now and 2050, especially in emerging and developing economies.”
The path traced by the Agency calculates that “Global spending on clean energy will increase from $1.8 trillion in 2023 to $4.5 trillion per year by early 2030”. Such a volume of investments will allow “a huge increase in clean energy capacity” and “will reduce the demand for fossil fuels by 25% and emissions by 35% by 2030 compared to the historic high recorded in 2022. While by 2050 the demand of fossil fuels will drop by 80%”.
Consequently, adds the Agency, “New long-term upstream oil and gas projects are not needed, nor are new coal mines or expansions of old facilities”. Rather, “continued investments are needed in some existing oil and gas assets and in already approved projects.” As a result, “investments in supply chains will have to increase to make them more resilient and diversified for clean energy technologies and in the minerals essential and necessary to produce them”. The Agency notes, however, that between Covid and the post-pandemic economic recovery there was a “extraordinary diffusion of some clean energy technologies”. “As of 2021, record growth in solar power capacity and electric car sales is on track to achieve global net-zero emissions by mid-century, as are plans for implementation of new production capacity for these sectors”. This is “significant progress” since “these two technologies alone guarantee a third of emissions reductions between now and 2030”. Additionally, “innovation in clean energy has provided more options and reduced technology costs.”
All this, however, is not enough. In fact, the Agency invites rich countries to be more “courageous” and reach “net zero” before emerging and developing economies to give them more time to get closer to the finish line. And at the same time to have full access to modern forms of energy by 2030. The latter objective can be achieved according to the Agency through “annual investments of almost 45 billion dollars by 2050, just over 1% of investments in the energy sector”.
Nello updated “net zero” scenario this year, the forecast also says that “global renewable energy capacity will triple by 2030, the annual rate of energy efficiency improvement will double, sales of electric vehicles and heat pumps will increase dramatically, and methane emissions from energy sector will decrease by 75%”. Overall, the Agency is convinced that “these technologies will allow necessary emissions reductions of more than 80% by the end of the decade”.
Provided, he says Fatih Birol, the executive director of the IEA, that “the world unites quickly and that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C is kept alive”. “The good news is that we know what we need to do and how to do it but we have a very clear message to send: governments must separate climate from geopolitics,” he adds Birol.
Otherwise, the report points out that “Failure to scale up implementation of the roadmap to 2030 would create additional climate risks and make reaching the 1.5°C target dependent on the massive deployment of carbon removal technologies, which are costly and unproven on a large scale”. Hence the warning: “A failure to expand clean energy quickly enough by 2030 would mean that nearly 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide would have to be removed from the atmosphere every year during the second half of this century. If they carbon removal technologies were unable to achieve results on this scale, it would not be possible to bring the temperature back to 1.5°C.”