Before climate conference: Crisis drives energy transition - climate goals far away

Shortly before the start of the international climate conference COP27 in Egypt, two major international organizations are giving a positive outlook and a loud warning.

Before climate conference: Crisis drives energy transition - climate goals far away

Shortly before the start of the international climate conference COP27 in Egypt, two major international organizations are giving a positive outlook and a loud warning. The International Energy Agency (IEA) explained in its annual report in Paris that the unprecedented global energy crisis has the potential to accelerate the energy transition, despite all the economic shocks.

The UN, however, accused the world community of doing too little to protect the climate: the efforts were far from sufficient to even come close to meeting the 1.5 degree target, according to a report by the UN Environment Program presented in Nairobi on Thursday UNEP. Radical changes in all branches of the economy are necessary.

As the IEA writes, the crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in addition to short-term protective measures for consumers against rising prices, has led to many countries now trying to accelerate structural change in energy production. "The responses of governments around the world promise a historic and definitive turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and secure energy system," said IEA Director Fatih Birol.

Far from the 1.5 degree target

Clean energy is becoming a great opportunity for growth and employment and an important field of international economic competition. If the plans come to fruition, it will mean a 50 percent increase in global clean energy investment by 2030, according to the IEA analysis. The energy markets and energy policy changed not only in the short term, but for the coming decades.

According to the IEA report, a peak is in sight for the first time in global demand for fossil fuels. Under the current political framework, coal use is expected to decline over the next few years, with demand for natural gas reaching a plateau by the end of the decade. The increasing sales of electric cars therefore lead to the fact that the demand for oil flattens out in the mid-2030s and falls slightly by the middle of the century. According to the analysis, the share of fossil energy in the global mix will drop from 80 percent to 60 percent by 2050.

But is the pace of change sufficient for climate protection? According to the IEA analysis, global CO2 emissions will decrease. Under the current framework conditions, however, the Energy Agency is assuming global warming of 2.5 degrees by the year 2100 - far away from the 1.5 degree target, which is intended to help prevent the more serious effects of climate change. The IEA complained that there was still a large gap between the ambitions of states and branches of industry to protect the climate and the actual implementation.

Only a fraction of greenhouse gases reduced

The UN report by the UN Environment Program finds more drastic words: In order to even come close to meeting the 1.5 degree target, greenhouse gas emissions would have to fall by 45 percent by 2030, i.e. be almost halved. Only a radical change in the energy, industry, transport or construction sectors can still prevent a climate catastrophe from occurring.

With the CO2 savings initiated at the last world climate conference in Glasgow, the earth will warm up by 2.4 to 2.6 degrees by the end of the century. That is significantly more than the value of 1.5 degrees agreed in the Paris climate agreement.

Although the states in Glasgow have sharpened their plans, it only reduces greenhouse gases by half a gigatonne, a fraction of the required reduction: "The challenge is that we only have seven years to close the gap of 20 gigatonnes of reduction, to do that To meet the 1.5 degree target. So it is completely insufficient to reduce just half a gigatonne in one year," said John Christensen, who worked on the UNEP report, the German Press Agency.

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