IEA Publishes World’s First Detailed Roadmap to
Net-Zero Emissions by 2050
The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a comprehensive roadmap mapping out a technology-driven pathway including policy recommendations on how to reach net‐zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally by 2050.
In the report released on May 18, Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, the IEA underlined that climate pledges by governments to date, even if fully achieved, would fall well short of what is required to bring global energy related CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 (Figure 1). Although the number of countries that have pledged to achieve net‐zero emissions has grown rapidly over the last year, the IEA points out that most pledges are not yet underpinned by near‐term policies and that the pledges to date would still leave around 22 billion tons of CO2 emissions worldwide in 2050. This would result with a 2.1°C temperature rise by 2100, much higher than the critical threshold of 1.5°C.
Published ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention to be held
in Glasgow in November, the report identifies more than 400 milestones to guide the global journey to net zero by 2050.
“The race is not between countries, but against time. If governments cannot finish the race, nobody wins.” Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director, IEA
Dr. Birol: “Clean energy transition must be fair and inclusive, leaving nobody behind.”
Commenting on the highlights of the report, Dr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, said that the pathway, although global in scope, requires each country to design its own strategy, considering its own specific circumstances. “Nonetheless, it anticipates that advanced economies will reach net zero before developing economies,” Dr. Birol cautioned.
“The clean energy transition is for and about people,” said Dr. Birol. “Our roadmap shows that the enormous challenge of rapidly transitioning to a net-zero energy system is also a huge opportunity for our economies. The transition must be fair and inclusive, leaving nobody behind. We have to ensure that developing economies receive the financing and technological know-how they need to build out their energy systems to meet the needs of their expanding populations and economies in a sustainable way.”