World on track to overshoot warming limit without massive investments
The world must combine COVID-19 recovery packages with massive investments in renewable energy and low-carbon infrastructure or it will fail to meet a global warming limit target, a report by leading energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said .
Currently, the world is on track for a 2.8 degrees Celsius to 3C rise in the global average temperature, above an internationally-agreed limit of below 2C, the report said. “Nearly $20 trillion, or 25 percent of global gross domestic product, is earmarked for spending over the next 12-18 months to deliver a coronavirus vaccine, tackle unemployment, rebuild public health systems and get economies back on track,” said Prakash Sharma, head of markets and transitions for Asia Pacific at Wood Mackenzie.
“This investment figure only has tiny proportions allocated to
the promise of the Paris Agreement targets. Some jurisdictions, such as the EU, have doubled down on green goals, but it is currently up in the air in the US and China,” he added.
One obstacle is that more than half the world’s existing energy and industrial capacity — power, cement, refining, chemicals and vehicles — is young and has decades left to run its course.
Coal, gas and oil are still expected to contribute around 80 percent of primary energy supply by 2040 — far higher than the 50 percent maximum needed for the world to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Although there is increasing renewables generation, it is not enough and incentives are needed for investments in carbon capture, use and storage and green hydrogen.