Image by Sebastian Ganso from Pixabay

The International Energy Agency, who was a cheerleader for fossil fuels has had a revelation!

A report by the International Energy Agency says immediate action is needed to reshape the world’s energy sector in order to meet ambitious climate goals by 2050, including ending investments in new coal mines, oil and gas wells. The Paris-based agency said in a report released Tuesday that it has determined there is a narrow but viable pathway for building a global energy sector with net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Several countries, including the United States and the European Union, have pledged to achieve net zero emissions — meaning only as much planet-warming gas is released into the atmosphere as can be absorbed — by mid-century. he IEA report sets out 400 steps needed to transform how energy is produced, transported and used. These include no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects, an end to the sale of new internal combustion engine passenger cars by 2035 and a four-fold increase in the deployment of solar and wind power by 2030 compared to last year’s record level. The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said the transformation would create millions of new jobs and boost economic growth worldwide.

There was a warning, however, that noted that while change has been promised the rate of emissions continues to grow. We need to go faster which is music to democrats and the wrong words for republicans.

“There is a growing gap between the rhetoric we hear from governments and industry leaders, and what it happening in real life,” Birol said. The agency, whose 30 members are mostly in North America, Europe and East Asia, said the power sector needs to lead the way, with electricity generation achieving net zero by 2035 in advanced economies and worldwide five years later. “Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required,” it said. Dave Jones, an analyst at the energy think tank Ember, said the report’s recommendation mark a turnaround from the IEA’s past position and were “truly a knife into the fossil fuel industry.”

Developing large countries, such as China, South Africa and India, will need help if all coal plants are to be closed down by 2030.

Laura Cozzi, one of the IEA report’s main authors, said that in addition to a huge increase in renewable power sources and electric car sales, energy efficiency must be increased significantly over the next decade. Power grids and EV charging networks should also be expanded to cope with the shift from fossil fuels to electricity, she said. Her co-author, Timur Gul, said that while the technologies exist to decarbonize the energy sector, they aren’t yet available for sectors such as aviation or heavy industry. “We need to bring them into the market,” said Gul, adding that such future technologies may need to include effective and scalable ways of capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Environmental groups have in the past criticized proposals that rely on unproven technology, arguing that making sharper cuts in actual emissions is a more effective approach. The charity ActionAid warned that the report emphasizes the use of biofuels made from crops. While such fuels are considered a form of renewable energy, they are often produced at the expense of food crops and require large areas of land to grow. But Cozzi said the models in the report don’t require converting forests into cropland.

Experts say achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is essential to saving the planet. This is also to meet the requirements of the Paris Accord. The world has been warming since the industrial revolution so we need to do our part now.

International Energy Agency – Go Renewables