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Peak oil is approaching. It won’t save the world

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This is according to the International Energy Agency, which said in its World Energy Outlook released on Wednesday that more aggressive climate action is needed as world leaders prepare for the crucial COP26 summit in Glasgow in November. .

“The hugely encouraging global dynamics for clean energy collide with the persistence of fossil fuels in our energy systems,” Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “Governments must address this issue at COP26 by giving a clear and unequivocal signal that they are determined to rapidly develop the clean and resilient technologies of the future.”

More than 50 countries and the European Union have pledged to meet the net zero emissions targets. If they meet these commitments, demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025, but global CO2 emissions would drop only 40% by 2050, far from net zero.

In this scenario, the world would still consume 75 million barrels of oil per day by 2050, only 25 million barrels per day less than today.

The energy sector has been reinforced in recent weeks by a sharp increase in prices.
Natural gas prices in Europe and Asia have skyrocketed, while the price of coal in China is at a record. This has helped push oil prices to their highest level since 2014, as some energy providers turn to oil for power generation.

But the IEA report includes a warning to the fossil fuel industry. The demand for peak oil in all scenarios studied by the agency, and if countries keep their climate commitments, that moment will arrive in just a few years.

What’s needed

At present, investments in clean energy projects and infrastructure are insufficient. The IEA has said that the development of new oilfield or coal mining projects must stop if the world is to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“There is an imminent risk of further turbulence for global energy markets,” Birol said. “We are not investing enough to meet future energy needs, and uncertainties set the stage for a volatile period to come.”

Birol said to achieve net zero emissions, investments in clean energy need to more than triple over the next decade. About 70% of this spending is expected to take place in developing economies “where funding is scarce and capital remains up to seven times more expensive than in advanced economies.”

“The way forward is difficult and narrow, especially if investments continue to fall short of what is required,” the IEA said in its report. But he said he remained “hopeful” if government leaders mobilized next month.

Much of the investment push required will be “driven by private developers, consumers and financiers responding to market signals and government-defined policies.” These actors will need an “unequivocal signal from Glasgow”, where world leaders will meet in November for international climate talks, the IEA stressed.

The momentum had strengthened before COP26 to implement more stringent measures, such as stopping the use of coal, the most carbon-intensive fuel. But talks have been complicated by the recent energy crisis, which is fueling fears that businesses may have to shut down and consumers will face high bills this winter.

China last month pledged do not build new coal-fired power projects abroad. Yet in an effort to alleviate the worsening energy crisis, Beijing recently ordered mines to increase production.

The IEA predicts that demand for coal decrease by 10% by 2030 if countries meet their climate commitments. To limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid a climate catastrophe, consumption must fall by 55%.

Sources

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2/ https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/13/energy/iea-world-energy-outlook-climate/index.html

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