Global demand for oil, natural gas and coal is likely to peak by 2030 — an “encouraging” development but “not nearly enough” to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday.
Planet-heating pollution from the energy sector is also set to peak this decade, the IEA said in an update to its landmark “Net Zero Roadmap” report.
But “keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius requires the world to come together quickly,” said Fatih Birol, the agency’s executive director.
Scientists consider warming of 1.5 degrees a threshold beyond which extreme heat, floods, droughts, wildfires, and food and water shortages will have a catastrophic impact. This year’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere was the world’s hottest on record, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.
Since the original publication of the “Net Zero Roadmap” report in 2021, the world has seen “record growth” in solar power capacity, as well as bumper sales of electric vehicles, with both industries on track to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century, the IEA wrote.
And more than 80% of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 can be achieved through expanding renewable energy sources, increasing electrification, improving energy efficiency and cutting methane emissions, according to the organization.
Still, limiting global warming is an immense task: The IEA said investments in clean energy worldwide would need to more than double from the $1.8 trillion projected for this year to $4.5 trillion every year by the early 2030s. Staying on track for 1.5 degrees also means that almost all countries must move forward their target dates for achieving net-zero carbon emissions, it added.
Meanwhile, carbon capture, utilization and storage — a set of technologies that prevents carbon going into the atmosphere at the source of the pollution — as well as hydrogen-based energy and biofuels require “rapid progress” by 2030.