IEA: ‘We have to stop selling cars on fossil fuels by 2035’
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), we all will have to make radical decisions to meet the Paris climate goals. We have to stop exploring new oil and gas fields and we have to aim at zero emissions by 2050, the agency says in a new report. It all depends on how energy is produced, transported, and used globally.
The report explains in 400 steps how we have to make sure by 2050 not to emit additional CO2 emissions into the atmosphere without compensation. One of those steps is to stop selling cars on fossil fuels by 2035. We also have to stop investing in new coal plants and produce much more renewable energy to make the worldwide electricity sector emission-free by 2040.
By 2050, global demand for energy should come for almost 90% from renewable sources, like solar panels or wind farms. The rest will be produced by nuclear plants.
The report is the world’s first comprehensive study of how to transition to a net-zero energy system by 2050 while ensuring stable and affordable energy supplies, providing universal energy access, and enabling robust economic growth.
“The scale and speed of the efforts demanded by this critical and formidable goal – our best chance of tackling climate change and limiting global warming to 1,5°C – make this perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director.
Governments need to quickly increase and reprioritize their spending on research and development – as well as on demonstrating and deploying clean energy technologies – putting them at the core of energy and climate policy. Progress in the areas of advanced batteries, electrolyzers for hydrogen, and direct air capture and storage can be particularly impactful.
Fair and inclusive
“The transition to a net-zero energy system is also a huge opportunity for our economies,” Birol continues. “The transition must be fair and inclusive, leaving nobody behind. We have to ensure that developing economies receive the financing and technological know-how they need to build out their energy systems to meet the needs of their expanding populations and economies in a sustainable way.”
The IEA stands ready to support governments in preparing their own national and regional roadmaps, to provide guidance and assistance in implementing them, and to promote international cooperation on accelerating the energy transition worldwide.
The special report is designed to inform the high-level negotiations that will take place at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention in Glasgow in November.