Energy transition ‘happening fast but not quickly enough’ to stop planet heating: report

(EurActiv, 11 Sep 2019) The remaining carbon budget to limit global warming to 1.5°C will be exhausted as early as 2028, even as the transition to low-carbon energy gains momentum, according to risk management firm DNV GL, which calls for “extraordinary policy action” to lower emissions.

The transition to clean energy is gaining speed, with growth in solar and wind power predicted to surge by 1,000% and 500% in the next decade to reach 5 and 3 terawatts respectively, according to DNV GL’s third Energy Transition Outlook, published on Wednesday (11 September).

Electric vehicles are expected to achieve cost parity with the internal combustion engine in the mid-2020s, the reports says, predicting that “by 2032, half the global sales of new passenger vehicles will be battery EVs,” contributing to “oil’s decline”. And growing electrification of heating in buildings and manufacturing industries will significantly improve energy efficiency, the report adds.

But none of this will be sufficient to contain the irresistible rise in global temperatures.

“The transition from fossil-based to zero-carbon is happening fast but not quickly enough to meet the Paris Agreement’s objectives to limit global warming to ‘well below 2°C’, let alone 1.5°C,” Ditlev Engel, CEO of DNV GL Energy, said in a foreword to the report.

“We need extraordinary policy action,” he wrote, calling for a comprehensive range of policies at the global level to advance renewables, new decarbonisation technologies, electric vehicles and energy efficiency.

“You can’t address the energy transition by just asking an energy minister to fix it,” Engel told EURACTIV in a phone interview. “It’s such a fundamental change that’s required in society that you need to involve your tax minister, your finance minister, your energy minister, agriculture and so on.”

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EurActiv, 11 Sep 2019: Energy transition ‘happening fast but not quickly enough’ to stop planet heating: report