Climate progress stalls
- sea ice loss ,
- Politics & Economics
The rate of global decarbonisation has slowed to its lowest level since 2011 after four years of moderate progress, leaving the Paris Agreement's goals further out of reach.
Analysis by PwC shows that carbon intensity of the global economy fell by 1.6% in 2018, less than half the 3.3% reduction seen in 2015, and well below the 7.5% cut needed every year until 2100.
“There's a huge gap between the rhetoric of the 'climate emergency' and the reality of policy responses around the world,“ PwC climate change director, Jonathan Grant, said.
This is increasingly challenging for companies to manage, as they deal with both extreme weather impacts and growing climate policy risk.
They are having to balance continued demand for business as usual, as well as urgent calls for disruptive change.“
Although the global economy is getting more energy efficient, the research shows that overall energy consumption rose by 2.9% last year with the resurgence of energy intensive industries in China, India and Indonesia.
The increase in energy demand continues to be met by greater consumption of fossil fuels, which increased global emissions by 2% in 2018 – the fastest rise recorded since 2011.
The extreme heat and cold weather patterns seen globally last year also led to a growth in demand for electricity and gas for heating and cooling.
PwC said that the world will have to hit a decarbonisation rate of 11.3% to have a realistic chance of limiting warming to 1.5ÀöC – seven times greater than the current rate.
For all the progress that has been made recently in building public engagement, business leadership, and political commitments, decarbonisation has stalled, PwC global climate change leader, Dr Celine Herweijer, said.
The speed of transformation that we need for our power and transport systems, our cities, the way we use land, and the way we produce and consume, is now that much more daunting, but it is possible.
Image credit: ¬©iStock
Devolving power from central government to local authorities will be critical for the UK as it looks to deliver on its environmental targets. Chris Seekings reports
The UK government has been “too city-focused” in its climate action and must provide more funding and support to reduce emissions in rural areas, the County Councils Network (CCN) has said.
COVID-19 offers the world a huge chance to beat a path to sustainability, says Oxford University professor Ian Goldin – but we must learn from past crises, he tells Huw Morris
The UK’s pipeline for renewable energy projects could mitigate 90% of job losses caused by COVID-19 and help deliver the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. That is according to a recent report from consultancy EY-Parthenon, which outlines how the UK’s £108bn “visible pipeline” of investible renewable energy projects could create 625,000 jobs.
The UK's largest defined benefit (DB) pension schemes have received a letter from the Make My Money Matter campaign urging them to set net-zero emission targets ahead of the COP26 climate summit later this year.
The sale of new diesel and petrol heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) will be banned in the UK by 2040 under proposals unveiled in the government's transport decarbonisation plan yesterday.