IEA says deep disparity between words and action on climate change risks failing to cap global temperatures
The world’s existing climate policies will not be enough to end the upward march of record energy emissions rising beyond 2040 without a “grand coalition” of governments and investors, according to the global energy watchdog.
The International Energy Agency said carbon emissions from the global energy industry reached a new record in 2018 despite progress in renewable energy in recent years.
The IEA expects the growth of renewables to accelerate over the coming decades, but warned it would not be enough to put a ceiling on the energy sector’s emissions before 2040.
Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said there was a “deep disparity” between the aim to tackle the climate crisis by curbing carbon emissions and the existing policies which had allowed a “relentless upward march” for emissions.
The IEA’s latest figures estimate that carbon emissions are on track to keep rising by 100m tonnes a year for at least another 20 years under existing policy plans.
This rate would be two-thirds slower than the emissions hikes recorded in previous decades, but would fall very far short of what is needed to achieve the goals of the Paris agreement.
“We will need to see great political will around the world,” Birol said. “This is why I believe that the world needs to build a grand coalition encompassing governments, investors, companies and everyone else who is genuinely committed to tackling climate change.”
The IEA said it presented the modelling based on stated policies to “hold up a mirror” to global governments to show the consequences of their policies.
Continent is set for massive urbanisation but can avoid relying on fossil fuels, says IEA
Africa is poised to lead the world’s cleanest economic revolution by using renewable energy sources to power a massive spread of urbanisation, says an IEA report.
The IEA, or International Energy Agency, predicts that solar energy will play a big role in supporting the continent’s growing population and industrialisation over the next 20 years.
Africa has less than half the solar power installations seen in the UK, despite the sunnier conditions, but the IEA is predicting a solar boom in countries across the continent, which could give hundreds of millions of homes electricity for the first time.
The report forecasts that Africa’s appetite for energy will grow at double the rate of the global average in the coming decades as the continent overtakes China and India as the most populated region in the world.
Africa’s population is expected to grow to more than 2 billion people by 2040, a rise of 800 million from today or the population equivalent of the US and Europe combined, says the report. People are expected to turn to cities and towns at a rate never seen before, where the demand for new houses and infrastructure will ignite an energy-hungry industrial revolution.
Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said Africa had a “unique opportunity” to leapfrog the fossil fuel dependency of other industrialised regions and host the first economic transformation that did not contribute to the climate crisis.