On 18 May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) presented a special report that could help implement the path to an era of net-zero emissions in the energy sector by 2050. The path to be trodden for this is narrow, but it offers amazing benefits. The report is the world’s first comprehensive study on how the transition to a net-zero energy system by 2050 can succeed globally. According to the study, the most important measures are the rapid expansion of renewable energies and the drastic reduction of fossil energy sources.
The path outlined by the IEA involves drastically high levels of investment that could create millions of new jobs and boost global economic growth. However, this would require far-reaching political measures by governments, which would have to be flanked by intensive international cooperation. For example, the IEA is calling for no further investment in fossil fuels with immediate effect and no new registrations of passenger cars with combustion engines by 2035, as well as zero CO2 in the global power sector by 2040. Both battery and hydrogen technology are considered to be particularly effective.
Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: “Our roadmap identifies the priority measures needed today to ensure that the opportunity for net-zero emissions by 2050 – which is low but still achievable – is not lost. The scale and speed of effort required by this critical and daunting goal – our best chance to combat climate change and limit global warming to 1.5°C – make this perhaps the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.”