The International Energy Agency (IEA) will later this year publish the world's first comprehensive roadmap for the energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. It is among a number of projects for 2021 announced by the IEA yesterday to support efforts to reach global energy and climate goals.
The IEA said the new special report - The World's Roadmap to Net Zero by 2050 - will set out in detail what is needed from governments, companies, investors and citizens to fully decarbonise the energy sector and put emissions on a path in line with a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. This new roadmap will be released on 18 May and "build momentum" ahead of the UN COP26 Summit in Glasgow in November, which is under the presidency of the UK.
"The energy that powers our daily lives and our economies also produces three-quarters of global emissions," said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. "This means our climate challenge is essentially an energy challenge. The IEA is determined to tackle that challenge and lead global clean energy transitions.
"Our roadmap to net zero can play a vital role in helping countries identify and implement the actions needed to achieve climate, energy security and affordability goals. Nothing short of a total transformation of our energy infrastructure will be required. That calls for decisive action this year, next year and indeed every year to 2050."
Alok Sharma, president of the COP26 conference, added: "The IEA's plan to produce a pathway to net-zero global emissions by 2050 is another important step for climate action. This will make clear the actions countries must take individually and collectively to meet that goal."
The IEA also announced that reinvigorating international energy cooperation will be a major theme of the 2nd IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit, following the first event held last year. This year's Summit will be co-hosted with the UK government on 31 March and will focus on how governments can work together more effectively to ensure long-term net-zero targets are translated into concrete action in the run up to COP26.
"International collaboration is at the heart of the UK's COP26 presidency, and I am proud that the UK government will co-host the COP26-IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit to help accelerate the global shift to clean, affordable and resilient energy," Sharma said.
The IEA also announced a new high-level global commission, headed by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, that will bring together government leaders, ministers and prominent thinkers to explore how best to empower citizens to benefit from the opportunities and navigate the disruptions resulting from clean energy transitions. The new commission - called Our Inclusive Energy Future - will consider the social and economic impacts on individuals and communities, as well as issues of affordability and fairness, with the aim of putting people at the heart of clean energy transitions.
The IEA will also publish a special report, Financing Clean Energy Transitions in Developing Economies, which will be produced in collaboration with the World Bank and the World Economic Forum (WEF). It will be released at WEF's Special Annual Meeting 2021 in Singapore in late May.
"Taken together, the projects we are announcing today reflect our commitment to lead the global clean energy transitions at a critical time, and make sure we can address the challenge of climate change with sustainable, resilient and secure energy systems." said Birol.