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IEA to set out net-zero roadmap

Published by , Assistant Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The International Energy Agency has announced that it will produce a comprehensive roadmap for the energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 as it further strengthens its leadership role in global clean energy transitions.

The new special report, ‘The World’s Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050’, will set out in detail what is needed from governments, companies, investors and citizens to fully decarbonise the energy sector and put emissions on a path in line with a temperature rise of 1.5°C. It is part of a series of new IEA projects to support efforts to reach global energy and climate goals.

This new roadmap will be released on 18 May and build momentum ahead of the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, in November, under the presidency of the UK.

Dozens of countries – including most of the world’s largest economies – and many leading companies have already announced plans to bring their emissions down to zero by around the middle of this century. But much work remains to be done to translate these ambitious targets into actual reductions in emissions.

Driving a stronger global consensus on the pathway to net zero will be a key priority for the IEA over the coming years. The Agency also intends to step up its work on global clean energy transitions in other major areas through 2021 and beyond. It will expand efforts to support its members and partners in meeting their climate ambitions, and play a greater role in tracking national commitments. This includes working with governments to develop stronger mechanisms that build confidence that they are not alone in taking the necessary steps to keep their climate promises.

The IEA also announced that reinvigorating international energy co-operation will be a major theme of the 2nd IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit, following the first event held last year. This year’s Summit will be co-hosted with the UK Government on 31 March and will focus on how governments can work together more effectively to ensure long-term net-zero targets are translated into concrete action in the run up to COP26.

In parallel, the IEA will continue to support a secure and inclusive global energy system. It announced a new high-level global commission headed by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark that will bring together government leaders, ministers and prominent thinkers to explore how best to empower citizens to benefit from the opportunities and navigate the disruptions resulting from clean energy transitions.

The new commission, ‘Our Inclusive Energy Future’, will consider the social and economic impacts on individuals and communities, as well as issues of affordability and fairness, with the aim of putting people at the heart of clean energy transitions. The commission’s meetings will be chaired by Danish Energy, Climate and Utilities Minister Dan Jørgensen and result in key recommendations in advance of COP26.

The IEA’s special projects for 2021 also include the release next week of new global data on emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, along with a detailed guide for policy makers and regulators seeking to increase their ambitions to cut those emissions. To help ensure countries and companies are well prepared to accelerate the deployment of new technologies, the IEA will produce a new special report in April on ‘The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions’.

The IEA remains committed to deepening its engagement with major emerging economies – such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa – and supporting them in their efforts to develop and implement policies to reach their energy and climate goals. To help ensure that clean energy technologies are available to all countries, the Agency will also publish a special report on ‘Financing Clean Energy Transitions in Developing Economies’, which will be produced in collaboration with the World Bank and the World Economic Forum (WEF) and released at the WEF’s Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore in late May.

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