Energy security puts major emitters within “touching distance” of Paris Agreement

22nd November 2022


A shift away from Russian gas and a switch to increasingly cheaper low-carbon technologies could keep the world’s biggest emitting nations within “touching distance” of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, according to research.

The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), a climate advisory body, says that the chance of reaching the 1.5°C ambition set by the Paris Agreement “may be better than it looks on paper”, predicting that nations will look to low-carbon technologies as they seek to reduce Russian gas imports.

The lower costs of clean energy and transportation are already influencing the drive towards energy security in China, the US, the EU and India. The ECIU’s study The Big Four: are major emitters downplaying their climate and clean energy progress? points to China, for example, which is introducing more than 160GW of renewables this year – a 25% increase on 2021’s figure. Electric vehicle sales this year are also forecast to double that of 2021.

The study noted that the US could generate up to 85% of its power from clean energy by 2030, with electric vehicle sales accounting for all new cars by that date. It also pointed to the EU’s Fit for 55 plan and India’s ambitions to transition its energy sector as part of its 2070 net-zero target.

“The pace at which the green transition is speeding up, particularly in the powerhouses of the global economy, is remarkable,” said Gareth Redmond-King, international lead at the ECIU. “It shows starkly just how the right policy and market frameworks are driving change at a pace which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the global energy crisis have accelerated this shift still further.”

Image credit | Shutterstock

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