The shift to clean energy is sending the oil industry into decline. But the world needs a much more ambitious plan to save the climate and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
That’s according to the International Energy Agency, which said in its global energy outlook published Wednesday that more aggressive climate action is needed as world leaders prepare for the crucial COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.
“The world’s hugely encouraging clean energy momentum is running up against the stubborn incumbency of fossil fuels in our energy systems,” Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement. “Governments need to resolve this at COP26 by giving a clear and unmistakeable signal that they are committed to rapidly scaling up the clean and resilient technologies of the future.”
More than 50 countries and the European Union have pledged to meet net zero emissions targets. If they live up to those commitments, demand for fossil fuels will peak by 2025, but global CO2 emissions would only fall 40% by 2050, far short of net zero.
In that scenario, the world would still be consuming 75 million barrels of oil per day by 2050 — only 25 million barrels per day less than today.