Despite flat energy demand and a growing renewable share
Despite relatively flat global energy demand through to 2050 and a rapidly growing share of renewables, the energy transition we forecast is not fast enough to bring the world to within the goals established by the Paris Accord. Our forecast points towards a warming of 2.3°C by the end of this century, a level considered dangerous by the world's scientific community.
Even with the rapid changes in energy intensity and decarbonization we forecast, CO2 emissions will still be at half of today’s level in 2050. This is dramatically different from the 50% reduction needed by 2030 and close to net-zero in 2050 needed to reach a 1.5°C future.
We forecast that the 1.5°C carbon budget is exhausted in 2028 and the 2°C budget in 2051, and extrapolating the emission trends. Our Outlook points towards a 2.3°C warming of the planet by end of this century. While there are significant uncertainties associated with our warming estimate, there can be no escaping the fact that there is an urgent need to find solutions to close the gap.
In order to achieve a future where global warming is limited to safe levels, we need to further reduce energy use, electrify all sectors possible via renewable electricity, decarbonize harder-to-abate sectors through e.g. decarbonized gas, and succeed with carbon capture and storage on an industrial scale.