Less than 90 days before the annual UN Climate Change Conference COP26 held in Glasgow, Scotland in November this year, countries have restricted global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The 2015 Paris Agreement called for a commitment to limit the temperature rise to “far below” 2 degrees Celsius, and efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.Since then, in Climate Science It was found that the 2 degrees Celsius mark was not enough to avoid the most serious impact of climate change, so the 1.5 degrees Celsius target needs to be updated.Temperature Has risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius Higher than pre-industrial levels, leading to catastrophic floods, fires and droughts, these are reflected in depressing daily headlines. Each increment Warming of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius will cause more and more destructive and costly impacts, especially for most Vulnerable Communities and countries in low-income and small island countries.
Now The heating is on The International Energy Agency (IEA) is an intergovernmental organization that formulates global energy policies and communicates this to its member states by focusing on a consistent path of 1.5 degrees Celsius in its widely read annual publication, World Energy Outlook. Government, business and market. World Economic Organization).
The IEA was established in 1974 during a severe oil crisis and has now become an influential source of data and market analysis Has a broader mandate To ensure affordable, reliable and clean energy.Energy is the largest source of human greenhouse gas emissions, almost Two-thirds of emissions Related to burning fossil fuels. Therefore, quickly reducing energy emissions is the key to controlling the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Although the IEA does not recommend a specific acceptable level of warming, its World Economic Outlook scenario provides a key roadmap for political and business decision-making by outlining the feasibility related to achieving different policy goals. In 2018, there was a landmark shift in international policy priorities. A thought-provoking report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations agency responsible for assessing the science of climate change, showed that maintaining Warm up to 1.5 degrees Celsius Social and economic changes will be required at a certain speed and scale Undocumented historical precedents.
The question now is how to get there.This The latest science tells us That window Keep 1.5 alive And to avoid further catastrophic effects are being shut down.This is WEO to be released by IEA, described as “Google Map” For the global energy market, this may be key-if the IEA aligns it with 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The previous “World Economic Outlook” contained a series of scenarios, of which the central “Established Energy Policy Scenarios” (STEPS)-reference cases-got the most detailed and focused. STEPS outlines the consequences of not taking additional climate action: a temperature increase of 2.7 to 3 degrees Celsius. As the IEA said, it is valuable to show the deficiencies of existing policies. However, when governments, investment analysts, companies, and the media interpret reference cases as the default guide for decision-making, they need to be cautious.
Neglecting to align the core WEO scenario with 1.5 degrees Celsius is not the only way for the IEA to be out of touch with the pace of technological change and scientific knowledge.Both the scientific community and civil society criticized the IEA model Potential bias Support the status quo based on fossil fuels.In addition, the institution is significantly underestimate The growth of renewable energy, Risk hindrance Renewable energy transition.The purpose of this activity #FixtheWEO It also called for the replacement of the central scenario to resolve the need to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Although the IEA is showing signs of moving in the right direction, the international consensus believes that 1.5 degrees Celsius is In fact The goal is not a foregone conclusion. In May, at the request of the presidency of the British COP, the IEA issued the first Comprehensive Study How to transition to a net-zero energy system and give the world a chance by 2050 Limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This marks an earth-shaking change in IEA’s information delivery. The International Energy Agency did not call for increased investment in oil and natural gas, but concluded that “there is no need to invest in new fossil fuel supplies”.However, countries such as Japan, Brazil, and Australia Controversial The findings conflict with their own fossil fuel expansion plans. But clarifying the gap between countries’ commitments and policy actions in the Paris Agreement is exactly what the world needs before COP26.
As policymakers and investors alike use the World Economic Outlook to guide trillions of energy investments, its priority scenarios may become Self-fulfilling prophecy-Either move towards a future of 1.5 degrees Celsius, or the climate crisis worsens.in a Open the envelope For Fatih Birol, the executive director of IEA, 60 leaders of policy, investment, academia, and civil society believe that the reference case “represents insufficient level and speed of transformation” and “draws a Dangerous route”. Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), join in, Calling the “World Economic Outlook” consistent with 1.5 degrees Celsius the “golden key” to “open the door to policy formulation and capital deployment.”
Keeping warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius will bring major economic and technical challenges, but the alternative will be a less livable planet.With global energy growth Beyond decarbonization, The realization of a livable future will Need a blueprint for guidance support Policy consistency Complies with IPCC 1.5 degrees Celsius recommendations and Guide investment Towards a stable climate.
Putting a scenario centered at 1.5 degrees Celsius at the core of the World Economic Outlook will model the market path required to allow countries, companies, and communities to cooperate to achieve this goal.As a negotiator Prepare In order to design the future of climate action at COP26, IEA intends to highlight this approach in WEO 2021 during the turning point of this decisive decade.
This is an opinion and analysis article; the views expressed by the author or author are not necessarily Scientific american.