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IEA: “Countries must triple renewable energy investment by 2030 to fight climate change”

If the world needs to be on track for 1.5 °C it needs to triple annual investment in renewable energy projects and infrastructure by 2030.

In its flagship report and just two weeks before the beginning of COP26, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that investment must surge to nearly $4 trillion (£2.9tn) by the end of the decade.

According to the ‘World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2021′ report, countries’ growth in clean energy is “still far too slow” to put global emissions into sustained decline towards net zero.

In all scenarios examined in the report, oil demand declines for the first time in a WEO.

However, the global authority on energy said the timing and speed of this drop vary widely.

It estimates that the world would still be consuming 75 million oil barrels per day by 2050, down from around 100 million today, if all announced climate pledges are met.

In the net zero emissions by 2050 scenario, that falls to 25 million.

The report also suggests that today’s climate pledges cover less than 20% of the gap in emissions reductions that need to be closed by 2030 to keep a 1.5°C target within reach.

In the IEA’s announced pledges scenario, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fall by 40% by mid-century – all sectors see a decline with the electricity sector delivering by far the largest.

However, in this scenario, the world does not hit net zero emissions.

The WEO 2021 report also provides four key cost-effective measures that can bring governments closer to their climate goals.

These include a massive push for clean electrification that requires a doubling of solar PV and wind deployment, a focus on energy efficiency measures, a broader drive to drive methane emissions from fossil fuel operations and a boost to clean energy technologies for carbon-intensive industries such as iron, steel and cement.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said: “The world’s hugely encouraging clean energy momentum is running up against the stubborn incumbency of fossil fuels in our energy systems

“Governments need to resolve this at COP26 by giving a clear and unmistakeable signal that they are committed to rapidly scaling up the clean and resilient technologies of the future. The social and economic benefits of accelerating clean energy transitions are huge, and the costs of inaction are immense

“Before a crucial COP26, it shows that while climate ambitions have never been higher, energy transitions have a long way to go.”

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