All greenhouse gas emissions could peak in 2023
A new report finds maintaining current solar, wind and electric vehicle growth rates could lead to peak emissions in 2023.
- Maintaining current wind and solar growth rates would trigger peak coal in 2023 and peak gas in 2024
- Sustaining recent electric vehicle growth rates would lead to peak oil in 2025
- Study gives 70% chance of peak emissions in 2023 driven by above trends
A new report finds that global greenhouse gas emissions could start falling in 2024, if current clean technology trends continue. If maintained, the recent boom in wind and solar would outstrip energy demand growth, forcing fossil fuels out of the energy system. This leads to peak coal in 2023 and gas in 2024. Peak oil would follow in 2025, if current growth rates in electric vehicles are sustained.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says that to limit global warming to 1.5°C, global greenhouse emissions need to peak before 2025 at the latest. The new analysis by science and policy institute Climate Analytics builds on International Energy Agency projections of carbon dioxide emissions to find that the IPCC milestone can be met for all greenhouse gases if current growth rates for renewables and electric vehicles are sustained and fossil fuel use is displaced.
“We find the world can peak emissions in time for the IPCC deadline, but only if governments work with the market to support renewables and stop pulling in the wrong direction with fossil funding and subsidies. A peaking commitment at COP28 would send a clear signal that they mean business,” says the report’s author and Climate Analytics’ Head of Policy Claire Fyson.
The report, which models the continued acceleration of wind, solar and electric vehicle deployment, finds the roll out of these technologies alone gives a 65% chance of flipping global emissions into decline. Additional action to curb other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, results in a 70% chance that a sustained fall in emissions would start in 2024 – even when accounting for year-to-year fluctuations in emissions.
“For years, energy demand growth has outstripped renewables deployment, despite record additions of wind and solar. We’re now approaching the tipping point, where renewables overtake demand growth and start displacing coal, oil and gas. This would mark the beginning of the end for the fossil economy,” says report author and Climate Analytics expert Dr Neil Grant.
A key factor driving the 2023 peak in global emissions is the pace of the energy transition in China. The analysis finds China’s solar and wind capacity could reach close to 1500 GW by 2025, meeting its 2030 target of 1200 GW more than five years early. This would flip the country’s power sector and overall economy into long-term emissions decline and place planned coal power projects under high risk of being stranded.
Despite clear market trends, governments could fast-track or delay the energy transition and peaking date depending on their policy choices. And even if the IPCC peaking milestone is met, steep emissions reductions would need to follow to halve global emissions by 2030 and keep the Paris Agreement goal in reach. By the end of this decade, the world needs to triple renewable capacity, double energy efficiency, and reduce fossil fuel use by 40% to limit warming to 1.5°C.
$2 trillion a year needed to triple global renewables by 2030 – double current investment
Investment in Africa needs to grow five-fold to ramp up renewables twice as fast as global average
New film spotlights the Caribbean in global charge against climate change
With 2023 officially declared the hottest year ever recorded, “Island Action, Global Goals” is an inspiring film on how Caribbean islands are taking essential action in the face of worsening climate change, against the backdrop of the first Global Stocktake.
Weak GST text fundamentally puts 1.5°C out of reach
Bill Hare, CEO, reacts to the new draft of the Global Stocktake text at COP28 on Monday evening.
Carbon capture and storage could unleash 86 billion tonne carbon bomb
A new analysis finds reliance on carbon capture and storage could release an extra 86 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere between 2020 and 2050.
Projected warming almost unchanged for two years as governments push false solutions over climate action
Despite their promises, governments have not taken enough action to drive down warming projections, with some instead turning to false solutions such as carbon capture and storage to continue the world's reliance on fossil fuels, according to the Climate Action Tracker's annual warming update.
Oil and gas majors could have paid for their share of climate loss and damage and still earned 10 trillion USD: new report
Global climate damages from emissions associated with the top 25 oil and gas ‘carbon majors’ between 1985 and 2018 are estimated at 20 trillion USD compared to the 30 trillion USD they earned over the same period, according to a new report released today by international think tank Climate Analytics.
A 1.5˚C pathway for the Philippines power sector entirely feasible: analysis
With the right international funding and policies in place, the Philippines could transition its’ power sector to near-100% renewable energy without compromising on the costs of electricity, reducing its reliance on expensive imports of both coal and gas, and creating up to a million jobs by 2050.
State of Climate Action report finds progress lags on every measure except EV sales
Global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are failing across the board, with recent progress made on every indicator — except electric passenger car sales — lagging significantly behind the pace and scale that is necessary to address the climate crisis.
Governments plan to produce double the fossil fuels in 2030 than the 1.5°C warming limit allows
The Production Gap Report finds governments plan to produce around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.
Beetaloo fracking and Middle Arm emissions wildly underestimated: analysis
An independent analysis of the projected emissions from the Northern Territory's proposed Beetaloo Basin gas fracking project — and the associated Middle Arm LNG precinct in Darwin Harbour — has found they've been gravely underestimated, as have the availability of offsets to deal with them.