Story at a glance

  • The International Energy Agency outlined new measurements governments worldwide need to take to prevent climate change from accelerating.
  • Focusing on sustainable energy, experts advocate an increase in investment in wind and solar power, along with reducing emissions from passenger vehicles.
  • This falls in line with Biden’s infrastructure overhaul for a net-zero economy.

A major energy organization issued its most detailed environmental plan yet on Tuesday, saying more effort is needed for the world to achieve a more sustainable future and cap climate change and global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a comprehensive study detailing how transitions to net-zero emissions by 2050 can be achieved through infrastructural overhaul focusing on clean energy production.

“The scale and speed of the efforts demanded by this critical and formidable goal – our best chance of tackling climate change and limiting global warming to 1.5 °C – make this perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “Moving the world onto that pathway requires strong and credible policy actions from governments, underpinned by much greater international cooperation.”


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Some of the milestones of the IEA’s plans, referred to as its new Roadmap, include a halt in fossil fuel-based projects and investments in coal. 

By 2035, there should be no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger automobiles and global net-zero energy sectors by 2040. 

Significant investments and expansions in wind and solar energy are required to make these goals tenable, in what IEA researchers describe as “a major global push to accelerate innovation” in the clean energy sector.

The funding for these operations will primarily occur on a policy level, with researchers noting that governments worldwide will need to increase spending on sustainable energy research and development. 

“The clean energy transition is for and about people,” said Birol. “Our Roadmap shows that the enormous challenge of rapidly transitioning to a net zero energy system is also a huge opportunity for our economies.”

Each country’s individual plan to move toward sustainable energy will look different, but President Biden’s longtime campaign and presidency goal includes reducing greenhouse gas pollution by at least half by 2030, eventually becoming carbon-neutral by 2035.

Major investments in alternative energy infrastructure is key for Biden; his administration recently approved the U.S.’s largest offshore wind farm that aims to power at least 400,000 homes. 


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Published on May 18, 2021