Drop new fossil fuels projects and gas boilers to reach net zero, says IEA

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The International Energy Agency (IEA) has drawn a plan for the global energy sector to reach net-zero emissions in 2050 counting over 400 proposals.

The intergovernmental organisation said that climate pledges by governments to date – even if fully achieved – would fall “well short” of what is required to bring global energy-related CO2 emissions to net zero over the next three decades.

READ: UK to announce more ambitious climate targets, IEA warns of massive carbon emissions increase this year

The IEA suggested there should be no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects aside from those already committed as of 2021.

In its scenario, policy focus on climate change means that demand for fossil fuels will drop sharply, so oil and gas producers would only focus on output from existing assets.

Meanwhile, investment would focus on clean electricity generation, network infrastructure and end‐use sectors, rising to US$260bn today to US$820bn in 2030.

Total annual energy investment would surge to US$5 trillion by 2030, adding an extra 0.4% per year to annual global GDP growth, helping economies coming out of the COVID-19 crisis.

There are two things the @IEA must do now to live up to its promise to lead on climate, @fbirol:

– make this scenario core to the World Energy Outlook
– focus it on renewable energy solutions.

(2/4)https://t.co/pcXf47rmi0#iea #worldenergyoutlook

— Jennifer Morgan (@climatemorgan) May 18, 2021

To help the phasing out of fossil fuels, policies should limit or provide disincentives for the use of certain fuels and technologies, such as unabated coal‐fired power stations, gas boilers and conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.

Banning new fossil fuel boilers from 2025 would drive up sales of electric heat pumps and most old buildings and all new ones comply with zero-carbon-ready energy codes, the IEA noted.

It would increase electricity demand by 35% over the next thirty years, making it the dominant fuel.

By 2050, two‐thirds of residential buildings in advanced economies and around 40% of residential buildings in emerging markets would be fitted with a heat pump.

Onsite renewables‐based energy systems such as solar water heaters and biomass boilers provide a further quarter of final energy use in the buildings sector in 2050, up from 6% in 2020.

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