1.5°C Path Narrows, but Clean Energy Keeps it Open
The International Energy Agency's (IEA) updated Net Zero Roadmap shows that greater ambition and implementation, supported by stronger international cooperation, will be critical to reaching climate goals.
The report, which was released on September 26, 2023, sets out a global pathway to keep the 1.5°C goal within reach. It finds that while record growth in key clean energy technologies, such as solar power and electric vehicles, is in line with a pathway towards net zero emissions globally by mid-century, momentum needs to increase rapidly in many areas.
The IEA's updated net zero pathway requires global renewable power capacity to triple by 2030, annual energy efficiency improvements to double, and sales of electric vehicles and heat pumps to rise sharply. It also hinges on mobilising a significant increase in investment, especially in emerging and developing economies.
The report stresses the importance of stronger international cooperation in limiting global warming to 1.5°C. It warns that a failure to sufficiently step up ambition and implementation between now and 2030 would create additional climate risks and make achieving the 1.5°C goal dependent on the massive deployment of carbon removal technologies.
The COP28 climate summit in Dubai in November 2023 is a vital opportunity for countries to commit to stronger ambition and implementation in the remaining years of this critical decade.
Implications for Policy Makers and Businesses
The IEA's updated Net Zero Roadmap provides a clear blueprint for policymakers and businesses to follow to achieve net zero emissions in the energy sector by 2050.
Policy makers should focus on the following key areas:
Accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies, such as renewable power, electric vehicles, and heat pumps
Improving energy efficiency
Reducing fossil fuel demand
Mobilising investment in clean energy
Businesses should also play their role by developing and deploying new clean energy technologies, investing in energy efficiency, and reducing their own emissions.
The IEA's updated Net Zero Roadmap is a wake-up call to the world that we need to do more to achieve our climate goals. However, the report also shows that a pathway to net zero emissions is still possible. With greater ambition, implementation, and international cooperation, we can build a cleaner and more sustainable future for all.
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