Wednesday, November 13, 2019

‘Profound Shifts’ Underway in Energy System, Says IEA World Energy Outlook

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The world’s CO2 emissions are set to continue rising for decades unless there is greater ambition on climate change, despite the “profound shifts” already underway in the global energy system.

That is one of the key messages from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2019, published today.  This year’s 810-page edition is notable for its renamed central “Stated Policies Scenario” (STEPS), formerly known as the “New Policies Scenario”.

In this scenario, which aims to mirror the outcome of policies already set out by governments, a surge in wind and solar power would see renewable sources of energy meeting the majority of increases in global energy demand.  But a plateau for coal, along with rising demand for oil and gas, would mean global emissions continue to rise throughout the outlook period to 2040.

In contrast, the report’s “Sustainable Development Scenario” (SDS) sets out what would be required to give a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.65C, which the IEA describes as “fully in line with the Paris Agreement”.

It says the SDS would require a “significant reallocation” of investment away from fossil fuels towards efficiency and renewables, as well as the retirement of around half the world’s fleet of coal-fired power stations and other changes across the global economy.

The IEA has this year also explored, but not modeled in detail, what it would take to limit warming to no more than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures, the aspirational goal of the Paris Agreement.

Read more at ‘Profound Shifts’ Underway in Energy System, Says IEA World Energy Outlook

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