BERLIN — The International Energy Agency says rapid motion is required to reshape the world’s power sector to be able to meet bold local weather objectives by 2050, together with ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gasoline wells.
The Paris-based company, lengthy thought of near the fossil fuel business, mentioned in a report launched Tuesday that it has decided there’s a slim however viable pathway for constructing a world power sector with internet zero greenhouse gasoline emissions by 2050.
Several international locations, together with the United States and the European Union, have pledged to attain net zero emissions — that means solely as a lot planet-warming gasoline is launched into the ambiance as might be absorbed — by mid-century.
The power sector is especially necessary for this effort as a result of it accounts for 90% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide, and three-quarters of the entire man-made greenhouse gases launched into the ambiance.
The report comes as governments talk about what international locations can do to satisfy the 2015 Paris local weather accord’s objective of retaining world warming under 2.7 Fahrenheit by the top of the century in contrast with pre-industrial instances. The world has already warmed by 1.2 C for the reason that late nineteenth century, and leaders are anticipated to make a concerted push for additional emissions discount pledges earlier than U.N. local weather talks in November.
The IEA report units out 400 steps wanted to remodel how power is produced, transported and used. These embrace no funding in new fossil fuel supply tasks, an finish to the sale of new inner combustion engine passenger vehicles by 2035 and a four-fold improve within the deployment of photo voltaic and wind energy by 2030 in comparison with final yr’s report degree.
The IEA’s govt director, Fatih Birol, mentioned the transformation would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs and enhance financial progress worldwide.
But he warned that whereas international locations and corporations have begun to set daring targets targets for slicing emissions of carbon dioxide and different greenhouse gases within the coming a long time, precise emissions proceed to rise considerably. The IEA said last month that 2021 will see the second-largest annual improve in emissions since 2010 because the world financial system bounces again from the pandemic.
“There is a growing gap between the rhetoric we hear from governments and industry leaders, and what it happening in real life,” Birol mentioned.
The company, whose 30 members are largely in North America, Europe and East Asia, mentioned the ability sector must cleared the path, with electrical energy era reaching internet zero by 2035 in superior economies and worldwide 5 years later.
“Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required,” it mentioned.
Dave Jones, an analyst on the power assume tank Ember, mentioned the report’s suggestion mark a turnaround from the IEA’s previous place and have been “truly a knife into the fossil fuel industry.”
Large growing international locations comparable to China, India and South Africa would require assist to attain the report’s suggestion of closing down probably the most polluting coal-fired energy crops by 2030.
Laura Cozzi, one of many IEA report’s important authors, mentioned that along with an enormous improve in renewable energy sources and electrical automotive gross sales, power effectivity should be elevated considerably over the subsequent decade. Power grids and EV charging networks must also be expanded to deal with the shift from fossil fuels to electrical energy, she mentioned.
Her co-author, Timur Gul, mentioned that whereas the applied sciences exist to decarbonize the power sector, they aren’t but obtainable for sectors comparable to aviation or heavy business.
“We need to bring them into the market,” mentioned Gul, including that such future applied sciences might have to incorporate efficient and scalable methods of capturing carbon dioxide from the ambiance.
Environmental teams have prior to now criticized proposals that depend on unproven know-how, arguing that making sharper cuts in precise emissions is a more practical method.
The charity ActionAid warned that the report emphasizes the usage of biofuels produced from crops. While such fuels are thought of a type of renewable power, they’re usually produced on the expense of meals crops and require giant areas of land to develop. But Cozzi mentioned the fashions within the report don’t require changing forests into cropland.