Commission information document on new energy transitions
Current national decarbonization commitments (known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs), made under the Paris the climate accord, are well below those needed to prevent global warming from exceeding 1.5 ° C above pre-industrial levels. 17-20 Gt of additional CO2 and a 40% reduction in methane emissions would be required to achieve this target. But the ETC report Hold at 1.5 ° C Alive: closing the gap in the 2020s, describes technologically feasible actions that could close this gap up to a trajectory of 1.5 ° C and which could be catalyzed by agreements in the next COP26 climate summit in November in Glasgow.
Many actions have minimal cost and would further stimulate innovation and support green economic development; and all could be stimulated to COP26 via commitments from leading countries and companies, without a need for a global international agreement. But two high priority actions – ending deforestation and reducing emissions from existing coal-fired power plants – will need to be supported by climate finance flows from rich developed countries.
The recommendations cover six areas: reducing methane emissions, ending deforestation and other nature-based solutions, moving beyond coal faster, accelerating the electrification of road transport, decarbonizing key industrial sectors and others “more difficult to reduce” and improve energy efficiency.
“To keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees alive, the world must act now to halve emissions over the next decade and move towards net zero by mid-century.” , noted COP26 President-elect, Alok sharma. “This report presents a clear and credible action plan of achievable emissions to put us on a 1.5 degree trajectory. COP26, we urge all countries to submit improved plans to reduce emissions and take action against coal, cars, trees and methane. “
“Current national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are a useful step forward but far from sufficient to limit global warming to an acceptable level”, commented Adair turner, chairman of the energy transitions commission. “But we have the technologies to achieve much faster reductions, often at zero cost or at low cost, and this report shows how. and businesses. COP26 must be the catalyst to seize this opportunity. “
Nigel garnish, UK’s top climate action champion, COP26, noted: “ETC highlights critical actions for nations and businesses to keep 1.5 ° C. Alive. Gathering global leadership and support is at the heart of Race to Zero and ETC’s recommendations demonstrate that it is technically and economically feasible to take collective action in the next decade. Momentum is building and it is now crucial that we focus on rapid deployment in the 2020s, if we are to limit global warming to 1 , 5 ° C.
The six categories of actions identified by the ETC are:
- Significant and rapid reductions in methane emissions. The latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shows that methane emissions have accounted for around 40% of past global warming, and reducing these emissions is the most powerful lever available to limit global warming as quickly as possible. But many NDCs don’t put enough emphasis on methane. Low-cost actions could reduce emissions from fossil fuels by 60% by 2030, while emissions from agriculture and waste management could potentially be reduced by 30%.
- Stop deforestation and start reforestation. Stopping deforestation, starting reforestation and improving other land use practices could reduce emissions by 6.5 Gt per year by 2030. Achieving this will require financial support from rich developed countries. and should be a priority use of committed climate finance.
- Decarbonize the electricity sector and accelerate the exit from coal. Coal-fired electricity generation is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions, but it is less and less profitable compared to renewable energies. An immediate ban on the construction of new coal-fired power plants, combined with a phase-out of existing coal-fired power plants, could reduce additional emissions by 3.5 Gt per year by 2030. All rich developed countries should step up to the plate. commit to full phase-out by 2030, and climate finance flows from developed economies should support phase-out in developing countries.
- Accelerate the electrification of road transport. The switch to electric vehicles (EVs) promises consumers to save money on fuel and maintenance costs while eliminating one of the biggest sources of air pollution. A ban on the sale of light vehicles with internal combustion engines, instituted by 2035, would cement this change. Commitments made by major fleet operators to fully electrify their vehicle fleets at even earlier dates would be a powerful force for change. Further emission reductions of 2.3 Gt per year could result from such actions by 2030.
- Accelerate the decarbonisation of supply in buildings, heavy industry and heavy transport. The elimination of emissions from these sectors will extend beyond 2030. But technological advancements and cost reductions are allowing for faster reductions than most NDCs currently assume. The commitments of leading companies and countries in the fields of steel, cement, maritime transport and aviation could generate an additional 1 Gt per year in emissions reductions, and 1 additional GT per year potentially thanks to accelerated electrification of electric heating.
- Revitalize energy and resource efficiency. Despite great opportunities to reduce emissions at low cost through energy and resource efficiency improvements, recent progress has been disappointing.. But progress could be accelerated by action at COP26, building on existing initiatives to drive improvements in the efficiency of buildings and devices.
Sumant sinha, President and CEO of ReNew Power, said: “Country NDCs are well below what is needed to limit the global temperature rise by 1.5 ° C. More ambitious objectives with targeted actions in the energy sector, with specific actions in electricity, transport, industries and buildings are needed. These must be supported by the rapid deployment of zero carbon energy, proven technologies for reducing emissions, creating an appropriate policy environment to ensure the diffusion of the technology in all sectors. The actions we take now will determine the kind of planet we leave as a legacy. ”
Note to editors
This report constitutes a collective vision of the Energy Transitions Commission. ETC members agree with the general thrust of the arguments made in this report but should not be taken as agreeing with every conclusion or recommendation. The institutions to which the Commissioners are affiliated were not invited to formally endorse the report.
To read the whole Keeping 1.5 ° C alive: closing the gap in the 2020s report, please visit: https://www.energy-transitions.org/publications/keeping-1-5-alive/ (Live at 7:00 GMT 09/30/21).
For more information, please visit the ETC website at www.energy-transitions.org.
Quotes from our commissioners: The list of quotes from our commissioners ETC can be found here.
Energy Transitions Commission (CTE)