August 1, 2021

Global CO2 emissions expected to reach unprecedented levels by 2023

The primary source of global warming, global CO emissions2 should reach a level never seen by 2023, warns, Tuesday, July 20, the International Energy Agency (IEA). In view of the too small share that the recovery plans linked to Covid-19 devote to clean energies, these emissions will continue to grow thereafter, further warns the IEA.

States have released unprecedented sums to face the pandemic, but barely 2% have so far gone to the transition in favor of clean energies, calculated the IEA in an analysis of the recovery plans and their energy impact.

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At this stage, the bulk of the $ 16 trillion in announced tax measures has gone to health spending and emergency support to businesses and households. Some 2,300 billion have been devoted to economic recovery, including 380 billion related to energy projects « durables ». Result : “In view of current public expenditure forecasts, CO emissions2 set off to reach record levels in 2023 and continue to grow in subsequent years. “

“Since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, many governments have said how important it is to rebuild better, for a healthier future, but many have yet to walk the talk”, notes the director of the AIE, Fatih Birol.

“Not only does investing in clean energy put the world off the path of mid-century carbon neutrality, it also fails to prevent a new emissions record. “

A “gap” between rich and poor countries

Public but also private funds are lacking. According to calculations made by the IEA and the IMF in mid-2020, 1 trillion dollars of additional green investment per year and over three years (energy efficiency, electrification, networks, etc.) would make it possible to support both the recovery and the creation of “Nine million jobs”, in compliance with the Paris climate agreement. To date, the measures adopted should result in 350 billion dollars in additional annual expenditure, from 2021 to 2023: it is better than before the Covid, but not enough.

The trend is particularly alarming in emerging and developing countries, where, for example, the rebound in electricity demand finds its response in coal rather than solar or wind power. These regions show barely 20% of the investments necessary for their “decarbonization”, according to the report, which fears a “Widening gap” with rich countries.

So “Many countries are also missing out on the opportunities they could derive from the development of clean energies: growth, jobs, deployment of the energy industries of the future”, regrets Fatih Birol, who takes the opportunity to recall the commitment of the countries of the North to the South. At the COP21 in Paris in 2015, they pledged to provide at least 100 billion dollars annually in climate finance, a “floor” amount and a pledge of more than ten years.

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800 measurements analyzed

With the health crisis, the IEA wants, with this tool for monitoring recovery plans (sustainable recovery tracker), help governments measure the impact of their action. This updated report is also published for the G20 of environment and energy ministers on July 22 and 23 in Naples.

More than 800 measurements in 50 countries have been scrutinized, which can be viewed on the Agency’s website. Based in Paris, the IEA was created by the OECD in 1974 to ensure global energy security, notably advising rich countries.

In May, the institution, which also monitors greenhouse gas emissions from energy (i.e. the majority of total emissions), struck people by publishing its roadmap for global carbon neutrality by 2050. Major conclusion: all new fossil fuel exploration projects (oil, gas, coal) must be abandoned. A road “Narrow but still practicable, if we act now”, Mr. Birol repeated on Tuesday.

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The World with AFP