Carbon emissions to peak in 2025 but ‘we must curb energy demand’, warns expert

(PA) (PA Wire)
(PA) (PA Wire)

Global carbon emissions from energy are to peak in 2025 due to increased spending on clean fuels following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s leading energy organisation has said.

Due to countries tilting towards greener fuel in response to the global energy crisis, analysis from the International Energy Agency (IEA) said the “golden age of gas is approaching its end”.

Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said the energy crisis, caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, “is in fact going to accelerate the clean energy transition”.

Despite predicting a peak of carbon emissions from energy, Kjell Stroem, president of the North Europe division at Danish firm Danfoss, world leaders in energy efficiency technology, has called on international governments to boost spending on energy efficiency and reduce consumption in order to reach the 2025 goal.

Speaking to the Standard, he said: “Global carbon emissions peaking in 2025 would be a fantastic achievement and would go a long way to helping us stay below 1.5C warming since pre-industrial levels.

“Of course, increased Government spending on clean fuels has a major role to play in this, but we can only push fossil fuels out of the energy mix if we at the same time reduce our overall energy consumption. Energy efficiency will be absolutely essential.

“If we don’t curb our demand for energy, the build out of renewables will not be even near sufficient.”

According to analysis from the IEA, investment in solar, wind and nuclear energy is set to rise to £1.7trillion by 2030 - an increase of 50 per cent more than currently.

While investment is growing, the analysis shows that funding would need to reach £3.4trillion by 2030 to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Current policies would also still lead to a 2.5C rise in global temperatures, higher than the 1.5C goal from the Paris Agreement in 2016, the organisation said.

Mr Stroem concluded: “It is beyond clear now that we will not meet the goals of the Paris Agreement unless we improve our ability to reduce energy consumption and recycle the green energy that is already produced.

“The vast majority of countries have highly inefficient energy systems, and the current levels of investments in energy efficiency are insufficient. It’s not magic, we have the technology, and the payback times are even shorter now in light of the current energy prices.

“By investing in these solutions, we can make sure this 2025 peak emissions target is achieved; this would benefit the environment, create millions of jobs and save money on a grand scale.”

In order to hit net-zero the IEA has remained steadfast in its belief that all new oil and gas extraction projects should be stopped immediately.