Forget Net Zero: Fossil fuels will constitute 50% of global energy mix by 2050, analysts predict

  • Date: 01/09/21
  • GWPF Energy

Energy analysts predict that fossil fuels will still constitute 50% of the global energy mix by 2050.

According to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Specifically, “Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050.”

While many Western governments and businesses have turned the Net Zero target into a legally binding goal, it is almost certain to fail, ending in an economic and geopolitical disaster, as we at the GWPF and other analysts have warned for some time.

Now, energy analysts at the Norwegian consultancy DNV are warning policy makers that the entire Net Zero agenda is built on sand, predicting that coal, oil and gas will still constitute 50% of the global energy mix by 2050.

Nobody should say they haven’t been warned.

The world has missed the chance to turn the global coronavirus pandemic into an opportunity to accelerate the energy transition, as Covid-19 recovery packages are focusing on protecting, rather than transforming, existing industries, according to DNV.

A new forecast of the energy transition from Norway’s DNV has warned that even if all electricity was ‘green’ from this day forward, the world will still fall a long way short of achieving the 2050 net zero emissions ambitions of the COP21 Paris Agreement.

DNV on 1 September is due to release its annual Energy Transition Outlook, now in its fifth year and launched two months before COP26 takes place in Glasgow. The outlook provides an independent forecast of developments in the global energy system to 2050.

Electrification might be on course to double in size within a generation and renewables are already the most competitive source of new power. However, DNV’s forecast shows global emissions will reduce only 9% by 2030, with the 1.5 degrees Celsius carbon budget agreed by global economies being exhausted by then….

Reductions in utilising fossil fuels have been “remarkably” fast, however these sources, especially gas, will still constitute 50% of the global energy mix by 2050 – making the need to invest in and scale up hydrogen and carbon capture and storage all the more important.

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