Global fossil fuel emissions are expected to peak in 2025 as countries commit large sums of money to low-carbon fuels, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
In its World Energy Outlook report published on Thursday, the agency said Russia’s attack on Ukraine had the potential to “accelerate” the global transition to clean energy sources.
The IEA said it expects global investment in low-carbon energy to rise to $2 trillion a year by the end of the decade — 50% more than today’s spending.
“Energy markets and policies have changed as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, not just for now, but for decades to come.” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in the report.
“The responses of governments around the world promise to be a historic and definitive turning point for a cleaner, cheaper and more secure energy system,” he added.
Since the war began in late February, many countries have rejected large Russian energy exports, found new suppliers and increased imports of alternative energy sources.
This has put Moscow in a “significantly reduced position”, the IEA said, and Russia is on track to reduce its share of global energy exports to 13% by 2030 from 20% last year.
Europe—Moscow’s biggest oil and gas customer—has borne the brunt of the energy crisis. Benchmark natural gas prices have risen since the invasion, though they have fallen sharply in recent weeks thanks to warm temperatures and the bloc’s successful efforts to store gas over the winter.
Earlier this week, Birol said intense competition from Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and oil production cuts by OPEC and its allies had led to “the first truly global energy crisis,” according to Reuters.
Thursday’s report will be welcomed by those worried that the crisis has set back global climate goals.
Fears of energy shortages have prompted some countries in Europe and China to burn more coal this year. Hard coal generation rose nearly 15% in Europe between March and September 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, according to Independent Commodity Intelligence Services.
But for the first time, the IEA’s annual forecasts see demand for all fossil fuels peaking or plateauing. Oil is expected to be the last holdout, reaching a plateau by the mid-2030s, the report said.
Despite the boom in clean energy investment, the agency said it expects global temperatures to rise 2.5 Celsius (4.5 Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, well above the 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) limit needed to avoid serious consequences. the climate The world has warmed 1.2 degrees Celsius since the industrial revolution.
Governments will also need to increase annual clean energy investments to $4 trillion by 2030 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the report says.
“There is still a large gap between today’s commitments and the stabilization of global temperature increase at around 1.5°C,” the IEA warned.