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International Energy Agency (IEA) calls for end of fossil-fuel era
In a landmark report published on 18 May, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) presented a comprehensive overview of how to the world can make the transition to a net-zero energy system by 2050. The report ‘Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector’ sets out 400 milestones to decarbonise the global energy system within the next 30 years.
The most remarkable conclusion from the IEA report is that the world must immediately end development of new oil and gas fields and stop building new coal power plants. By 2050, solar and wind power should generate 68% of the global electricity demand.
Climate activists and NGOs welcomed the report but also pointed to some “serious flaws and gaps” such as further reliance on nuclear power, growing carbon capture and storage technologies and the increased use of bioenergy in the IEA solution box.
- IEA press release : Pathway to critical and formidable goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 is narrow but brings huge benefits (18 May)
- IEA article 10 June: Net zero by 2050 hinges on a global push to increase energy efficiency
- The Guardian: No new oil, gas or coal development if world is to reach net zero by 2050, says world energy body
- MIT Technology Review: Half of the world’s emissions cuts will require tech that isn’t commercially available
- Climate Action Network: Blog post reaction to IEA report
- University of Technology Sydney: Report ‘Fossil Fuel Exit Strategy’ (authors: Sven Teske and Sarah Niklas), June 2021
What will be in the upcoming ‘Fit for 55’ package?
The European Commission will be publishing no less than 12 climate and energy-related proposals on 14 July. This “Fit for 55” package of revisions of existing laws and new proposals should make the EU’s climate policy and energy legislative framework ‘fit’ for last year’s announced reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 55 percent compared to 1990 levels.
Some media outlets, think tanks and stakeholders have already covered or commented on the different proposals in the Fit for 55 package. Here are interesting links for some of the expected issues:
General coverage of the Fit for 55 package
- EU Commission: Work Programme 2021
- European Council: Press release - Council adopts European Climate Law (28 June)
- Clean Energy Wire : Toolbox ‘Covering the EU’s Fit for 55 package of climate and energy laws
- ETUC: Resolution in ‘Fit for 55’ package (March 2021)
- Climate Action Network Europe: The EU’s upcoming climate and energy legislative package should be ‘Fit for 1.5°C’ (1 july)
On the revision of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS):
- EurActiv: LEAKED: The EU’s carbon market reform proposal (1 July)
- WWF: Report: ‘Fit for 2030. Optimising EU ETS revenues for people and climate’
On the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive
- European Parliament: Briefing ‘Renewable Energy Directive – Revision’
- EurActiv: LEAK: EU’s draft renewable energy law meets criticism from industry, NGOs (18 June)
- IEEP: REDIII: Valuing the maintenance of carbon sinks and ecosystems over using biomass for energy? (May 2021)
On the revision of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID)
- European Parliament: Briefing ‘Towards a revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive’
- IndustriAll: Why the EU Green Deal needs a strong regulation on recharging infrastructure for vehicles (1 July)
- Transport and Environment: The five tests awaiting the EU’s big ‘Fit for 55’ climate push (29 June)
On the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive
- European Parliament: Briefing ‘Review of the Energy Taxation Directive’
- Bruegel : The European Green Deal must cut hidden fossil fuel subsidies
- EurActiv: LEAK: EU to propose aviation fuel tax in green policy push (5 July)
On the Climate Action Social Fund
- EurActiv : Fit and fair: The case for a European fund for targeted renovation (11 June)
On the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), see our separate story here
Very bleak IPCC report leaked
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish a new major report on the climate emergency in 2022. Agence France Press (AFP) got hold of a preliminary draft which warns of major tipping points which could soon be triggered and endanger the future of humanity.
Read some of the media coverage:
- The Guardian : IPCC steps up warning on climate tipping points in leaked draft report
- Le Monde: Dérèglement climatique : l’humanité à l’aube de retombées cataclysmiques, alerte un projet de rapport du GIEC
- Phys.org : Crushing climate impacts to hit sooner than feared: draft UN report
EU Sustainable Finance Strategy
The EU Commission adopted on 6 July a ‘Sustainable Finance strategy’ consisting of several proposals to re-orient financial investments towards the low-carbon transition needed to meet its stronger ambitions on tackling the climate crisis.
The strategy includes a new standard for issuing European Green Bonds and rules on how financial and non-financial companies should report about the environmental performance of their assets and activities.
This newsletter will return to a more detailed analysis of the Sustainable Finance proposals in our next issue but, for now, here are some links to the EU’s new strategy and to some first comments by media and stakeholders:
- EU Commission: Press release on the Sustainable Finance Strategy (6 July)
- EU Commission: Strategy for financing the transition to a sustainable economy
- EU Commission: Fact sheet on the European Green Bonds standard
- EuroNews : EU unveils 'gold standard' sustainable finance strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions (7 July)
- Transport & Environment: EU’s green finance plan leaves door open to gas investments
- ETUI blog post Sotiria Theodoropoulou, Head of unit European economic, employment and social policies: The European green bond standard: a good initiative hanging in the balance
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