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Coal surrendered to the sun

Global greenhouse gas emissions will fall by 7%, or 33.4 gigaton, this year, according to the 2020 Global Energy Outlook, but the agency warns that the downturn cannot be seen as a solution to climate change. I will. Emissions will increase rapidly during the recovery unless countries adopt green economic recovery policies, he says.

“The recession has temporarily curtailed emissions, but low economic growth is not a low-emission strategy. It’s just a strategy that helps make the world’s most vulnerable population even poorer,” said IEA Chief Dr. Fatih Birol said.

Instead, governments need to adopt policies to reduce emissions.

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The report models four possible scenarios of recovery and energy use, from the scenario in which the government adopts policies to reach net zero emissions by 2050 to the scenario in which the government already addresses it. It has turned into. In this scenario, greenhouse gas emissions will return to pre-COVID levels by 2023.

All scenarios predict that peak coal usage has already passed and is casting renewable energy as the “leader”.

“I think solar power will be the new champion of the global electricity market. Based on today’s policy setting, we plan to set a new record for annual deployment since 2022,” said Dr. Birol. “If governments and investors step up their commitment to clean energy in line with our sustainable development scenario, both solar and wind growth will be even more spectacular and overcome global climate problems. I highly encourage you. “

The report predicts peak oil demand to reach the next decade, but could stagnate for years to come unless the government changes policies to support its use.

In some scenarios, Asian gas demand is expected to increase over the next few years as the government uses gas demand instead of coal energy plants, but for the first time government agencies predict that gas demand will begin to decline by 2040. doing. Environmental certification of gas says it is a new technology that demonstrates that the “transient emissions” of methane associated with gas are causing significant climate harm.

“Uncertain economic recovery also raises questions about the future outlook for the record amount of new liquefied natural gas export facilities approved in 2019,” the report said. “Investors are increasingly skeptical of oil and gas projects because of concerns about their financial performance and compliance with corporate strategies and environmental goals.”

Buckley said the IEA’s approval of methane emissions for climate impacts related to the gas industry is also a sign of future uncertainty in the industry, but encourages the government to rethink gas-led support. He said he didn’t think. recovery.

Tony Wood, director of the Grattan Institute’s energy program, said it would be difficult to dismiss IEA modeling as Australia is one of the longest active members of the IEA.

Kingsmill Bond, an energy analyst at Carbon Tracker, a financial and climate change think tank in London, welcomed the recognition that the world began to reach its fossil fuel peak in 2019, but how far and fast the cost of solar power is. I believed that I underestimated it. autumn.

“The IEA predicts that the rate of decline in solar costs will drop significantly. Costs have fallen by 18% annually since 2010,” he said. ” [report] The rate of cost reduction is expected to decrease to only 2% per year by 2040. This is not just reliable. “

Bond also said he believes solar power will continue to grow faster than expected in the normal business scenarios of government agencies.

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Nick O’Malley is the National Environment and Climate Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age. He is also a senior writer and former US correspondent.

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Coal surrendered to the sun

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