Pv To Ev

It’s Not All Bad News in the Fight to Slow Global Warming

Clean energy technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and electric vehicles are advancing so rapidly that the global use of fossil fuels is now expected to peak by the mid-2020s and then start declining, the world’s leading energy agency said Tuesday.

But there’s a catch: The transition away from coal, oil and natural gas still isn’t happening fast enough to avoid dangerous levels of global warming, the agency said, at least not unless governments take much stronger action to reduce their planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions over the next few years.

The International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook, a 386-page report that forecasts global energy trends to 2050, comes just weeks before world leaders gather for a major United Nations climate summit in Glasgow to discuss how to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels and prevent the planet from overheating.

Wind Solar“The world has made a remarkable amount of progress on clean energy over the past decade,” Fatih Birol, the agency’s executive director, said in an interview. “But there’s still so much more that needs to happen.”

The new report finds that the world has made significant strides in the fight against climate change. Wind and solar power are now the cheapest source of new electricity in most markets and growing briskly. Sales of electric vehicles worldwide hit records last year. Across the globe, approvals for new coal-fired power plants, a major source of emissions, have slowed dramatically in recent years, as governments and banks have increasingly refused to finance them.

Governments are also stepping up their policies to curb emissions. The European Union has been increasing the price it charges large polluters to emit carbon dioxide. India has ratcheted up efficiency standards for new air-conditioners. China has said it would stop financing new coal plants overseas.

As a result, the International Energy Agency now projects that humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide will reach a peak by the mid-2020s and then drop slowly in the decades thereafter. Global coal use is expected to fall between now and 2050, despite an uptick this year driven by increased industrial activity in China, while global oil demand is expected to enter into permanent decline by the 2030s, as people switch to electricity to fuel their cars.

That alone would be a remarkable shift. Ever since World War II, global carbon dioxide emissions have been on a seemingly inexorable upward trajectory, with only temporary dips during recessions, as the world relied on ever greater quantities of fossil fuels to power homes, cars and factories. A turning point is now in sight, the report says.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Join the Community discussion now - your email address will not be published, remains secure and confidential. Mahalo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *