iceberg climate change

Global policymakers rapidly scaling up climate change mitigation efforts

Increasing pressure on governments to announce more stringent policies to tackle climate change will see a raft of announcements before 2025 that will provide a pathway for the world to stick below 2°C global warming, according to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Under its 'Forecast Policy Scenario' (FPS), which it believes is the most likely outcome for near-future climate policy announcements, PRI expects sweeping changes across energy systems and transport over the next decade.

It predicts that zero-emission vehicles will make up around 30 per cent of all vehicles on the road by 2030, accelerating the demise of oil, which is already near its all-time peak and is expected to decline significantly after 2026/27.

Wind and solar power will represent over 30 per cent of global electricity generation by 2030, more than three times today’s levels (around 10 per cent).

The FPS also anticipates rapid changes in the food and land systems, often overlooked in climate scenarios, that will see land use becoming a net carbon sink within 30 years as the world reaches ‘peak meat’ consumption in 2030.

The PRI did warn however, that the Paris Agreement’s loftier goal – which is to minimise warming to just 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels - would require greater action sooner than is forecast.

To deliver that outcome, either deforestation would have to be banned globally by 2025 or there would need to be a massive increase in carbon capture and storage facilities. China would also need to end all use of coal by 2035, an unlikely scenario considering it is currently building new plants that make use of the fuel. According to current trends, the PRI said, China could account for 30 per cent of global emissions by 2050.

New fossil-powered cars would need to be phased out in almost all markets by 2040 with a transition to 100 per cent clean power globally by 2045.

The PRI analysis found that the doubling of net zero commitments by countries, now representing 70 per cent of global GDP, have made a “forceful and accelerated” policy response to climate change even more likely than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fiona Reynolds, PRI CEO, said: “The 2021 IPR forecasts signal to investors that they must focus on the transition, 2030 and net zero pathways and the investment opportunities emerging as policy makers respond to growing climate challenges.”

Mark Campanale, founder of Carbon Tracker, said the policy forecast “highlights that it is viable to electrify the majority of global transport fleet by 2040, whilst also transitioning to 100 per cent global clean power by 2045. The technologies to achieve this are available now, but we need stronger, explicit policy signals and immediate investor action.”

Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.

Recent articles