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Current use of fossil fuels makes UN climate goals ‘very difficult’ to achieve, says IEA

The International Energy Agency warned on Tuesday that energy policies must evolve if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, saying the use of fossil fuels is still “far too high”.

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The annual report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) comes just weeks after the COP28 summit which begins in November in Dubai – the last of the global climate summits organized by the United Nations since 1995 – aimed at stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. .

“As things stand, demand for fossil fuels is expected to remain far too high to stay within the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C “, the agency said.

“This risks not only worsening climate impacts after a year of record heat, but also compromising the security of the energy system, which was built for a cooler world with fewer extreme weather events,” added the OUCH.

“Bending the emissions curve onto a trajectory compatible with 1.5 degrees Celsius remains possible but very difficult,” he said.

Without substantial global policy changes, global average temperatures could rise by around 2.4 degrees Celsius this century.

Clean energy transition

However, the IEA highlighted some positive developments, including the “phenomenal rise of clean energy technologies” such as solar and wind power, electric cars and heat pumps.

He estimates that there would be about 10 times more electric cars on the roads than today and that solar energy as a whole would produce more electricity than the entire US electricity system does today. .

The global share of renewable energy could reach around 50 percent, up from 30 percent currently, he adds.

He also noted that investments in new offshore wind projects are three times higher than those in new coal and gas power plants.

For the IEA, “the combination of growing momentum for clean energy technologies and structural economic changes around the world” could lead to peaks in global demand for coal, oil and natural gas by the end of this decade.

This would increase the share of fossil fuels in global energy supply from around 80% currently to 73% by 2030.

“The transition to clean energy is underway around the world and it is unstoppable. It’s not a question of ‘if’, it’s just a question of ‘how soon’ – and sooner rather than later the best for all of us,” said the agency’s executive director, Fatih Birol. in the report.

“Growing geopolitical tensions”

He also criticized moves by some governments to expand the development of oil, gas and coal projects in a bid to ensure energy security, a key issue following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and the impacts that This affects supplies from Russia, a major producer.

“Given the current stress and volatility in traditional energy markets, claims that oil and gas represent safe choices for the world’s energy and climate future seem weaker than ever,” Birol said.

The report proposes tripling global renewable energy capacity and doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.

Birol also said international cooperation was paramount to accelerating clean energy transitions and helping developing countries meet growing energy demand at a time of growing geopolitical tensions.

“Governments, businesses and investors must support clean energy transitions rather than hinder them,” he said.

The IEA said investment in clean energy has jumped 40% since 2020, but “it can and must go even faster so we can achieve our shared energy and climate goals.”

(with AFP)


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