There is little international investment in the energy transition to the goal of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. This is the conclusion of the International Energy Agency (IEA). With current plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the global community will only manage to achieve a reduction of 40 percent by 2050, according to the agency’s new annual report.
The goal of greenhouse gas neutrality by the middle of the century is set in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. To reach this level, however, investments would have to more than triple within the next ten years, according to the IEA. “About 70 percent of this additional spending is to be done in emerging and developing countries,” said the agency’s president, Fatah Birol. A “clear signal from politics” is needed.
“Standard of Status quo”
It is true that the share of renewable energy continued to grow in 2020 and electric vehicles set new sales records. However, according to the IEA report, these advances will not be enough to net global greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. The “persistence of the status quo” counteracts these developments. Furthermore, the distinction between current political plans for climate protection and the changes that are actually needed is “clear”.
Coal, natural gas and oil still account for about 80 percent of the world’s energy supply in 2020. The share of renewable energy globally was only 12 percent.
According to the IEA, solar, wind and hydro power, along with bioenergy, will make up a greater share of energy investment after the pandemic than before. The World Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which will take place from late October to mid-November, will now be “the first test of countries’ willingness to make new and more ambitious commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement”.
The IEA emphasizes that the cost is not as high as it has repeatedly feared: “The more than 40 percent reduction in required emissions will be from measures that are self-supporting, such as improving efficiency, limiting gas leakage or Installing wind or solar power in places where they are now the most competitive electricity generation technologies,” the report emphasizes.
The “social and economic benefits of a quick switch to clean energy” are also “huge”. In addition, the following applies: the cost of inaction will ultimately be far higher.
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