The Daily Telegraph

IEA wants end date for petrol and diesel cars

Progress in tackling global warming with emissions cuts needs to step up, says intergover­nmental group

- By Rachel Millard and Laura Onita

THE Internatio­nal Energy Agency has called for a global end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 as it argued for a “massive scaling up” of investment to boost energy security.

The intergover­nmental group of mostly wealthy Western countries said progress on cutting emissions from vehicles “falls short” of what is needed to tackle climate change. Electric cars accounted for just over 1pc of all cars on the road in 2021, it said, but that needs to rise to 20pc-25pc by 2030 to put the world on course for climate targets.

The recommenda­tion comes in a major joint report published today by the IEA, the Internatio­nal Renewable Energy Agency and the United Nations Climate Change High Level Champions.

It marks a key sign of continued global focus on cleaner energy despite the crisis triggered by Russia’s war on Ukraine. The report says: “Government­s should agree on a timeline by which all new road vehicle sales should be zero emission, with interim targets for countries taking into account their level of economic developmen­t [...] and should align policies with this target.

“Pathways compatible with 1.5C [the internatio­nal goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels] indicate that this target date should be around 2035 for cars, for example.”

Vehicle makers should commit to the same timelines for production, it adds.

“This will send a clear signal to industry to unlock larger economies of scale and faster cost reductions, making the transition more affordable for all.”

An IEA spokesman added it was up to government­s to decide when new petrol and diesel cars should be phased out, but “2035 is a typical date for doing

this among scenarios aligned with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees”.

At the Cop 26 United Nations Climate Change Conference hosted by the UK in Glasgow last November, dozens of national and regional government­s, as well as major carmakers, pledged to work towards ending new petrol and diesel car sales by 2035 in leading markets and 2040 elsewhere. Since then, the war in Ukraine has sent energy markets into turmoil amid climbing gas prices, with government­s renewing focus on energy security and costs.

The IEA argues the response to climbing costs “must not be to slow down the transition to sustainabi­lity but to move even faster”. It added: “A massive scaling up of clean energy investment and deployment worldwide is needed to enhance energy security.”

However, the IEA’S call came as the Bank for Internatio­nal Settlement­s warned efforts to solve the energy crisis risked sparking a global food crisis,

Plans by large economies to end their dependency on Russian oil imports could mean an increased use of grains in the production of biofuels, which would exacerbate existing food shortages.

“Persistent­ly high oil prices may add upward pressure to the price of grains and oil seeds by boosting their use in the production of biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel,” BIS said.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’S executive director, said: “We are in the midst of the first truly global energy crisis, with devastatin­g knock-on consequenc­es across the world economy, especially in developing countries.

“Only by speeding up the transition to clean energy can we achieve lasting energy security.”

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