Fossil fuel demand must fall by a quarter by 2030 to limit global warming, IEA says

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Chart showing the IEA’s roadmap to limit warming to 1.5C and net zero emissions by 2050

Fossil fuel demand must fall by a quarter by the top of this decade if governments need to limit the rise in global warming to 1.5C because the pre-industrial interval, the International Energy Agency has concluded. 

Coal, oil and pure fuel will all want to get replaced by clear vitality at a speedy charge to hold the world on monitor to reduce greenhouse fuel emissions to web zero by 2050, the OECD-funded vitality watchdog mentioned in its newest evaluation.

The projections are the newest warning for the oil and fuel sector because the IEA shocked the trade in 2021 when it mentioned there was no room for brand new exploration tasks if global warming thresholds have been to be met.

Chart showing that increasing renewable capacity, improving energy efficiency and reducing methane emissions are key to reducing near-term emissions

The company’s newest projections come at a time of rising tensions with oil producers forward of UN local weather talks within the UAE in 10 weeks, with the Opec cartel accusing the IEA of stoking “volatility” and scaring off buyers.

The oil and fuel trade has additionally tried to undermine the IEA projections, stepping up the rhetoric final week at a biennial convention in Calgary.

For its half, the company reiterated its view that new oil and gasfields confronted “major commercial risks” if the required cuts to demand have been made, given provides from current tasks.

But the IEA additionally warned that provides of fresh vitality wanted to broaden in step with falls in fossil fuel provide, to keep away from vitality shortages and value jumps. 

Chart showing electric car sales and solar PV capacity additions

“Prolonged high prices would result if the decline in fossil fuel investment in this scenario were to precede the expansion of clean energy,” it mentioned, noting that an “orderly” transition was “far from guaranteed”.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s government director, mentioned some fossil fuels would nonetheless be required by 2030 and governments wanted to “provide the framework” to guarantee a clean transfer to cleaner vitality. 

The IEA was based within the aftermath of the 1970s Arab oil embargoes to advise on vitality safety. Its members are drawn from OECD nations and embody the US, the UK and Japan.

The IEA remarks have been delivered with its newest report setting out its evaluation of the pathway for the world to reduce emissions to web zero by 2050.

This is taken into account essential to limiting global warming to ideally 1.5C above pre-industrial ranges by that point, and nicely under 2C, as set down below a dedication signed by nearly 200 nations within the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The IEA mentioned “stringent and effective policies” below its projections would “spur clean energy deployment and cut fossil fuel demand by more than 25 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent in 2050”.

This would contain oil demand falling from 100mn barrels a day to 77mn b/d by 2030; and pure fuel demand falling from 4,150bn cubic metres in 2022 to 3,400 bcm over the identical interval. 

That would contain a 75 per cent reduce in vitality sector methane emissions by 2030, which might price an estimated $75bn or solely 2 per cent of oil and fuel trade web earnings in 2022.

There had been “positive developments” over the previous two years, the IEA mentioned, together with the speedy uptake of photo voltaic panels and electrical autos. 

Chart showing that if all announced projects are realised, solar PV manufacturing would exceed levels needed of the updated net zero scenario in 2030

However, it known as for “bolder action”, with clear vitality funding wanted to climb from $1.8tn this yr to $4.5tn every year by the early 2030s. 

It cautioned that going too slowly may lead to important prices, probably amounting to as a lot as $1.3tn a yr to strip carbon dioxide emissions out of the air after 2050 fairly than avoiding them within the first place.

This could be 50 per cent greater than the whole funding in fossil fuel provide in 2022, and lead to “a major challenge requiring close international co-operation”, the company mentioned.

Birol additionally criticised UK prime minister Rishi Sunak’s choice to delay the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel automobiles to 2035, saying superior economies ought to take the lead and “increase ambition rather than reducing it”.

“Keeping alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C requires the world to come together quickly. The good news is we know what to do — and how to do it.”

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