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Climate: Russia may have accelerated the planet's energy transition in spite of itself

Eight days before the COP27 World Climate Conference in Egypt, the Agency nevertheless warns in its 2022 annual report published Thursday, against the "fractures" between rich and poor countries in terms of investment in low-carbon energies, in calling for a "major international effort" to "reduce" this "worrying gap".

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Climate: Russia may have accelerated the planet's energy transition in spite of itself

Eight days before the COP27 World Climate Conference in Egypt, the Agency nevertheless warns in its 2022 annual report published Thursday, against the "fractures" between rich and poor countries in terms of investment in low-carbon energies, in calling for a "major international effort" to "reduce" this "worrying gap".

"The global energy crisis triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine is causing profound and long-term changes that have the potential to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy system," the IEA said in the presentation document for his report.

"Energy markets and public policies have changed since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, not just for now, but for decades to come," said the agency's chief executive, Fatih Birol, as well. quoted in the report.

While some countries are currently seeking to increase or diversify their supply of oil or gas - fossil fuels with high CO2 emissions - many are studying an acceleration of their structural changes towards clean energies, underlines the IEA, an offshoot of the OECD tasked with supporting many countries.

- "Rupture" - 

Europe's "break" with Russian gas happened with a speed "that few people thought possible" even last year, adds the IEA.

And Russia "fails" to redirect to other countries its gas flows that previously went to Europe. In none of the three scenarios studied by the Agency will Russia's gas and oil export levels return to where they were in 2021, and its share of the global oil and gas market will be halved by 2030 in one of them.

For the first time, the three scenarios studied each year by the Agency identify a peak or a plateau in the consumption of each of the fossil fuels (coal, gas, oil) which are suffocating the planet and causing it to warm up.

In the central scenario, which is based on the commitments already announced by governments in terms of climate investments ("Inflation Reduction Act" in the United States, "Fit for 55" and "RePowerEu" in Europe, "Green transformation" in Japan ..), global CO2 emissions would thus peak at 37 billion tonnes in 2025, then drop to 32 billion tonnes in 2050.

- 2.5 degrees -

But despite these efforts, global average temperatures would rise by around 2.5 degrees by 2100, which is "far from enough to avoid severe climate consequences".

The Agency once again stresses the need for massive investment in clean energies, whether green or simply low-carbon such as nuclear, and for acceleration in certain areas such as electric batteries (for cars), photovoltaic , and the electrolyzers which will produce hydrogen intended to decarbonise industry in particular.

In its central scenario, these investments must exceed $2 trillion by 2030, and they would have to rise to $4 trillion to meet the conditions of the scenario of net zero emissions in 2050.

"Major international efforts are called for to bridge the worrying gap that is widening between advanced economies and those of emerging or developing countries" in terms of investment in clean energy, adds the IEA.

Former French climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana reacted to AFP by saying that the report clearly shows that "investments in clean energy must triple by 2030, and that gas is a dead end".

"With an abundance of wind, sun and other renewable energies, Africa can lead the world on the path of transition and pave the way for energy sovereignty", reacted for his part Mohammed Adow, founder and director of the climate think tank Power Shift Africa.

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