IEA Report | Carbon emissions on the rise, despite the climate emergency

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Despite the climate emergency, post-pandemic stimulus measures will result in a new record of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide in 2023, emissions that will continue to increase thereafter, warns the International Energy Agency (IEA). An alarming trend that could seriously hamper the goal of achieving carbon neutrality in 2050, if governments do not correct the situation quickly.

Eric-Pierre Champagne

Eric-Pierre Champagne

A pale green raise

As the IEA reminds us, money will be the sinews of war to face the climate emergency. According to the agency, globally, only 380 billion US dollars go to “green” energy projects out of the approximately 2,300 billion committed to post-pandemic economic recovery. In addition, recurring investments announced for the next three years total 350 billion, or just over a third of the expenditure required each year to meet the Paris Agreement target of limiting warming to 2 ° C, according to the Monetary Fund. international (IMF). Sums clearly insufficient to reduce GHG emissions, concludes the IEA in a report released on Tuesday. Carbon emissions will hit a new record in 2023 and will continue to rise thereafter, it is estimated.

“A considerable delay”

The agency recalls that many governments have revised their climate ambitions upwards, “but concrete and comprehensive measures to implement these ambitions are lagging behind considerably”. This is particularly the case for Canada, which has adopted a new GHG reduction target, ie a reduction of 40% to 45% below the 2005 level, by 2030. The Parliamentary Budget Officer in Canada also indicated last June that Ottawa should do more, noting in passing that half of the vehicles sold in the country by 2022 should not produce any emissions, in the hope of reaching this new target. Note that Canada is on the list of 50 nations closely followed by the IEA. In its report, the agency records “green” spending of $ 40 billion through various policies across the country, particularly in the transportation and housing sector.

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Renewable energies will not be enough

“It’s a bit of what everyone feared,” says Pierre-Olivier Pineau, holder of the Chair in Energy Sector Management at HEC Montréal. “The problem is that if we really want to reduce emissions, we have to introduce constraints on pollution. But governments don’t want to do this for electoral reasons. The transition to renewable energy sources will reduce GHG emissions, but in the short term, a more coercive approach is needed, believes Mr. Pineau, who is also a member of the climate change advisory committee for the Government of Canada. Quebec. He gives the example of cigarettes, where tax-focused policies and awareness campaigns have worked. “You can count on goodwill, but it’s like quitting smoking. Sometimes that is not enough. ”

A gap between rich and poor countries

The International Energy Agency also highlights in its report the significant disparities between rich countries and poorer nations in the fight against climate change. In the G20 countries, of which Canada is a member, investments for a green recovery represent 60% of the sums required, according to the agency, to achieve the objective of limiting global warming to below 2 ° C. However, developing countries account for 20% on average of the investments required to achieve carbon neutrality. Although rich countries have pledged $ 100 billion annually to help poorer nations, this goal has yet to be met, hampering international efforts to reduce global GHG emissions.

The curve more and more difficult to flatten

The more decisions are postponed, the more difficult they will be in terms of climate. This is the essence of the post recently launched by Zeke Hausfather on Twitter. This climate scientist and director of the Breakthrough research institute indicated that “if the world had started reducing emissions in 2000, limiting warming to below 2 ° C would be like skiing down a beginner’s slope. But 21 years later, it’s more like going down an expert slope that becomes more and more difficult as we delay these reductions ”. A hard-hitting infographic accompanied his post, showing how each year of delay made it harder to achieve the goal of keeping global warming below 2 ° C.

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Read Zeke Hausfather’s tweet

With Reuters and Agence France-Presse

75% of “clean” cars in 2030

The CD Howe Institute said on Tuesday that 75% of cars sold in 2030 would need to be powered by a zero-emission engine to allow Canada to meet its climate target. In 2020, “clean” vehicles made up only 3.5% of sales in the country. “This CD Howe report is a very interesting exercise,” says Pierre-Olivier Pineau, professor at HEC Montreal. Even though it’s very ambitious, I think it’s achievable. Mr. Pineau nevertheless believes that this objective could be reached more easily if the vehicle fleet stopped growing each year, especially since SUVs are increasingly popular with consumers in Quebec.

16 trillion

Total sum intended for the measures taken by the various governments to deal with the pandemic

2300 billion

Total amount committed for post-pandemic economic recovery

2 %

Proportion of the sum committed to a “green” stimulus, ie 380 billion, compared to 16,000 billion to deal with the pandemic.

Source: International Energy Agency

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