Record growth in clean energy technology is keeping open a narrowing pathway to limiting global warming to 1.5 ̊C, says the International Energy Agency in a new report.
The IEA today (Tuesday) released an update to its Net Zero Roadmap in which it said that “greater ambition and implementation, supported by stronger international cooperation, will be critical to reach climate goals.”
It also warned that while the renewables rollout is happening quickly, “momentum needs to increase rapidly in many areas”.
Since it published its initial roadmap in 2021, the IEA said that “record growth in solar power capacity and electric car sales are in line with a pathway towards net zero emissions globally by mid-century”.
This is significant, it said, as those two technologies alone deliver one third of the emissions reductions needed before 2030 in its pathway to global net zero emissions by 2050.
“Yet bolder action is necessary this decade,” it said. “In this year’s updated net zero pathway, global renewable power capacity triples by 2030.”
It also said that the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements must double, while sales of electric vehicles and heat pumps must “rise sharply,” and energy sector methane emissions must fall by 75%.
“Keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 ̊C requires the world to come together quickly,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol. “The good news is we know what we need to do – and how to do it.”
“But we also have a very clear message: Strong international cooperation is crucial to success. Governments need to separate climate from geopolitics, given the scale of the challenge at hand.”
The roadmap recognised the importance of taking “different national circumstances” into account, with advanced economies expected to reach net zero sooner to allow emerging and developing economies more time.
It said staying on track will however mean almost all countries have to move forward their targeted net zero dates – including China bringing its date forward a decade to 2050.
It also requires global clean energy spending to rise from $1.8tn in 2023 to $4.5tn annually by the early 2030s.
It also called for “more resilient and diverse supply chains for clean energy technologies and the critical minerals that are needed to make them,” perhaps alluding to China’s dominance over the lithium supply chain crucial for making lithium-ion batteries.