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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Turning a corner on fossil fuels, but energy transition needs still to ramp up further to keep 1.5C alive says IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released its World Energy Outlook 2023 (IEA report) 

Quick summary:

  • Just based on current policy settings, by 2030 clean technologies play a significantly greater role.
  • This includes almost 10 times as many electric cars on the road worldwide;
  • Solar PV generating more electricity than the entire US power system does currently;
  • Renewables’ share of the global electricity mix nearing 50%, up from around 30% today;
  • Heat pumps and other electric heating systems outselling fossil fuel boilers globally;
  • Three times as much investment going into new offshore wind projects than into new coal- and gas-fired power plants.

But stronger measures would still be needed to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C.

The report projects the share of fossil fuels in global energy supply, declines from around 80% to 73% by 2030, with global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions peaking by 2025.

Without an acceleration in action, Global emissions would still push up global average temperatures by around 2.4 °C this century, well above the key threshold set out in the Paris Agreement.

The world is on track for peaking in all fossil fuels before 2030.

Major structural shifts shape the new outlook taking into account electric car sales, increase in solar PV capacity, and a slowing of China's economic growth while more energy in China changes from fossil fuels to clean energy.

The reports says:

Proven policies and technologies are available to align energy security and sustainability goals, speed up the pace of change this decade and keep the door to 1.5 °C open. 

The STEPS sees a peak in energy-related CO2 emissions in the mid-2020s but emissions remain high enough to push up global average temperatures to around 2.4 °C in 2100. This outcome has improved over successive editions of the Outlook but still points towards very widespread and severe impacts from climate change. 

The key actions required to bend the emissions curve downwards to 2030 are widely known and in most cases very cost effective. Tripling renewable energy capacity, doubling the pace of energy efficiency improvements to 4% per year, ramping up electrification and slashing methane emissions from fossil fuel operations together provide more than 80% of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to put the energy sector on a pathway to limit warming to 1.5 °C. 

In addition, innovative, large-scale financing mechanisms are required to support clean energy investments in emerging and developing economies, as are measures to ensure an orderly decline in the use of fossil fuels, including an end to new approvals of unabated coal-fired power plants. 

Every country needs to find its own pathway, and it needs to be inclusive and equitable to secure public acceptance, but this package of global measures provides crucial ingredients for any successful outcome from the COP28 climate change conference in Dubai in December.

Fatih Birol, CEO of the IEA, speaking on the release of the report, called for:

  1. Tripling renewable energy capacity compared to 2022 (
  2. doubling energy efficiency in next years compared to 2022
  3. significant and massive upscaling of financing support by developed for developing countries of up to tripling to USD 2.8 trillion compared to today
  4. reducing highly-potent short-lived methane emissions from the energy sector by 75% .


IEA: The energy world is set to change significantly by 2030, based on today’s policy settings alone, 24 October 2023,

IEA Fatih Birol at live stream launch of World Energy Outlook 2023 Report

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