New Delhi: While stating that carbon emissions need to decline by 80 percent in advanced economies by 2035, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that these nations will have to advance their net zero targets to 2045 and China will have to do so by 2050 if the world is to achieve the 1.5°C goal. “As part of an equitable pathway to the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050, almost all countries need to bring forward their targeted net zero dates. In the NZE Scenario, advanced economies take the lead and reach net zero emissions by around 2045 in aggregate; China achieves net zero emissions around 2050; and other emerging market and developing economies do so only well after 2050,” said IEA in its ‘Net Zero Roadmap: A Global Pathway to Keep the 1.5°C goal in reach.’
“By 2035, emissions need to decline by 80 percent in advanced economies and 60 percent in emerging market and developing economies compared to the 2022 level. Current Nationally Determined Contributions are not in line with countries’ own net zero emissions pledges, and those pledges are not sufficient to put the world on a pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. COP28 and the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement provide a key opportunity to enhance ambition and implementation,” said the report.
“The world has already delayed too long to avoid hard choices,” the IEA added. The report, which comes ahead of crunch UN climate talks, follows the global energy watchdog’s 2021 ‘Net Zero Roadmap’ which said that new fossil fuel development was incompatible with global decarbonisation by mid-century and the 1.5°C goal.
Two years on, the IEA commended the record growth in solar power capacity addition and electric car sales. “Positive developments over the past two years include solar PV installations and electric car sales tracking in line with the milestones set out for them in our 2021 Net Zero by 2050 report. In response to the pandemic and the global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, governments around the world announced a raft of measures designed to promote the uptake of a range of clean energy technologies. The industry is ramping up quickly to supply many of them. If fully implemented, currently announced manufacturing capacity expansions for solar PV and batteries would be sufficient to meet demand by 2030 in this update of the NZE Scenario,” said the IEA.
“Ramping up renewables, improving energy efficiency, cutting methane emissions and increasing electrification with technologies available today deliver more than 80% of the emissions reductions needed by 2030,” the report added.
“No new long-lead time upstream oil and gas projects are needed in the NZE Scenario, neither are new coal mines, mine extensions or new unabated coal plants. Nonetheless, continued investment is required in existing oil and gas assets and already approved projects… The drop in fossil fuel demand and supply reduces traditional risks to energy security, but they do not disappear – especially in a complex and low trust geopolitical environment,” said the report.
“The pathway to 1.5C has narrowed in the past two years, but clean energy technologies are keeping it open,” said IEA chief Fatih Birol. The report also warned that if the world’s current oil and gas fields and coal plants operate to the end of their lifespans, the world would significantly overshoot its CO2 budget to stay within 1.5C.
“Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS), hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels, and sustainable bioenergy are critical to achieve net zero emissions; rapid progress is needed by 2030. The history of CCUS has largely been one of underperformance. Although the recent surge of announced projects for CCUS and hydrogen is encouraging, the majority have yet to reach final investment decision and need further policy support to boost demand and facilitate new enabling infrastructure,” said the report.
“Our Delayed Action Case shows that failure to increase ambition to 2030 would create additional climate risks and make achieving the 1.5 °C goal dependant on the massive deployment of carbon removal technologies which are expensive and unproven at scale. Nearly 5 Gt CO2 would have to be removed from the atmosphere every year during the second half of this century. If carbon removal technologies fail to deliver at such scale, returning the temperature to 1.5 °C would not be possible. Removing carbon from the atmosphere is costly and uncertain. We must do everything possible to stop putting it there in the first place,” it added.