COP26 kicks off in Glasgow this week at a critical time

The IEA at COP26

The COP26 Climate Change Conference has just begun in Glasgow – a critical opportunity for countries to make progress on their plans to reduce emissions. The energy sector is responsible for around three-quarters of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity, and the IEA will be actively involved in events at COP26, fulfilling our role at the heart of the global dialogue on energy by sharing our data, analysis and solutions.

Through our key reports this year, we’ve set out what needs to happen to bring the global energy sector to Net Zero by 2050, to accelerate clean energy transitions in the developing world, and to ensure that critical minerals don’t create a bottleneck to the rapid transformation of our energy infrastructure. Out recent World Energy Outlook 2021 is designed to serve as a handbook to COP26.

Our Executive Director Fatih Birol will be in Glasgow this week for discussion with leaders from around the world. Keep an eye on his Twitter and LinkedIn accounts for key updates on his activities. In addition, many IEA analysts will be taking part in a range of events at COP26 on important issues.

Take a look at our dedicated IEA at COP26 homepage for more information on our presence in Glasgow these next two weeks and read this new commentary about our COP-related work by Sara Moarif, Jinsum Lim and Tom Howes from our Energy and Environment Division.

Global Commission recommends how to put people at the heart of energy transitions

Decision makers gathering in Glasgow for COP26 need to remember that the transition to low-carbon energy won’t succeed unless it’s supported by the public and delivers benefits to as many citizens as possible. The Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions, which was convened by our Executive Director at the start of this year, just released 12 key recommendations for how policy makers can enable citizens to benefit from the opportunities and navigate the disruptions created by the new global energy economy that is emerging.

Headed by Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the Global Commission brings together leading figures from government and society from around the world. At a livestreamed meeting chaired by Danish Climate and Energy Minister Dan Jørgensen and co-chaired by Senegalese Energy and Petroleum Minister Sophie Gladima, members of the Global Commission presented the recommendations and discussed the real-world case studies that underpinned them.

Read the press release, explore the recommendations, watch the video of the meeting, and take a look at Dr Birol’s article on why this is such a critical issue at the start of COP26.

Executive Director meets Danish Prime Minister in Copenhagen ahead of COP26

After the Commission released its recommendations last week, Dr Birol visited Copenhagen where he met with Prime Minister Frederiksen and Climate Minister Jørgensen and delivered a keynote speech at an event hosted by the Prime Minister ahead of COP26.

Dr Birol highlighted the emergence of a new global energy economy and the impressive leadership of Denmark in clean energy technologies, such as offshore wind, and international energy and climate diplomacy. In his meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Birol thanked her for her leadership on the Global Commission. The Prime Minister thanked Dr Birol for his speech and his leadership on global energy and climate issues.

In their meeting, Minister Jørgensen and Dr Birol discussed a wide range of topics, including the Global Commission’s recommendations; COP26; the IEA 2022 Ministerial Meeting, for which the Minister is a Vice Chair; global energy markets; and Denmark’s clean energy plans and priorities.

Despite some increases in clean energy investment, the global economic recovery is uneven and unsustainable

Spending on clean energy amounts to 3% of the almost $17 trillion that governments have so far mobilised to bolster their economies from the recession triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest update of our Sustainable Recovery Tracker. While the share is up from around 2% in July, it still leaves global carbon emissions on an upward trajectory, with this year set to be the second largest annual increase in history.

Governments have increased the amount of their economic recovery spending that is going towards clean energy investments by 20% in the past three months, according to our Tracker, which is based on analysis of hundreds of government spending programmes around the world. But the spending is highly imbalanced geographically – with most of it taking place in advanced economies rather than the developing world – and still falls short of what is needed to put global CO2 emissions into sustained decline.

The Sustainable Recovery Tracker was launched in July as a contribution to Italy’s Presidency of the G20 this year. The latest update came just ahead of the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome, and the Tracker was recognised in the communiqué from the Summit. Read our press release and explore the Tracker’s findings.

Executive Director meets with Indian Commerce & Industry Minister Goyal on G20 plans

Our Executive Director held a virtual meeting last week with Piyush Goyal, India’s Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles. Minister Goyal will also be playing a leading role in India’s Presidency of the G20 in 2023.

Minister Goyal and Dr Birol discussed how the IEA can support India’s upcoming G20 Presidency, which will follow that of Indonesia in 2022. Minister Goyal said India’s Presidency will be focused on action and showing leadership by example, as well as bringing through the perspectives of emerging economies. He also congratulated the IEA for the Sustainable Recovery Tracker that was developed for Italy’s G20 Presidency. The meeting also covered the progress in further strengthening the IEA-India relationship through the new Strategic Partnership that is being developed and could eventually lead to membership for India in the IEA.

The week before, Dr Birol spoke at a meeting convened by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with key global figures from the oil and gas industry. In his remarks, Dr Birol noted the success India has had in expanding electricity access to its population. He also outlined the current situation in oil and gas markets and what can be done by countries that produce oil and gas to ease the impact of price increases on poorer countries that rely on imports for their supplies.

Our new Clean Energy Transitions hub provides global view of efforts to reach net zero goals

We just launched a new online resource bringing together key energy and emissions indicators to provide an overview of progress towards net zero emissions globally and for individual countries as leaders from around the world prepare to gather at the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Our Energy Transitions hub includes a range of crucial metrics on emissions and clean energy from the comprehensive array of global energy data we collect, process and publish. The new hub, which includes key indicators that will update regularly, is designed to help governments, companies, investors and citizens keep track of international efforts to move towards a low-carbon energy future.

G7 countries have a unique opportunity to lead the world towards cleaner electricity

G7 members are well placed to fully decarbonise their electricity supply by 2035, which would accelerate the technological advances and infrastructure rollouts needed to lead global energy markets towards net zero emissions by 2050, according to a recent report we produced at the request of the United Kingdom, which holds the G7 Presidency this year.

The pathway laid out in the report – Achieving Net Zero Electricity Sectors in G7 Members – underscores how the G7 can serve as first movers, jump-starting innovation and lowering the cost of technologies for other countries while maintaining electricity security and placing people at the centre of energy transitions.

Our Executive Director presented the report’s findings to UK Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Greg Hands during a recent visit to London. While in London, Dr Birol also took part in a dinner event where he met with Prince Charles and US Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry.

Read our G7 net zero electricity report and the press release.

IEA Deputy Executive Director meets with Indonesian Energy Minister in Singapore

Our Deputy Executive Director Mary Warlick met in Singapore with Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arifin Tasrif to discuss deeper cooperation with this key emerging economy that is both a major energy consumer and exporter.

Ambassador Warlick was in the region to take part in the Singapore International Energy Week along with other leading global energy figures. While there, she participated in a meeting of Asian energy regulators to discuss global energy developments and key challenges facing our energy systems.

Explore the World Energy Outlook 2021

The team behind our World Energy Outlook 2021, which is designed to serve as a handbook to COP26, recently held a series of livestreamed discussions on different aspects of the analysis.

The discussions, which involved WEO analysts and leading outside experts, covered the hopes for COP26 and beyondenergy security in transitionselectricity sector transitionssectoral transitions to new energy industries, and ensuring social and economic dimensions are core elements of transitions.

Watch these conversations, which are full of useful insights on the current state of play of the clean energy transition and its future prospects.

It may not feel like it right now, but EU gas market liberalisation has cut energy bills

Recent record high natural gas prices have raised questions about the liberalisation of the European Union’s natural gas market and its gradual move towards allowing real-time market trading to set prices rather than long-term contracts.

While liberalisation has meant greater European exposure to the recent spikes in the price of imported gas, it has also cut the EU’s gas bills over the past decade, according to this new commentary by WEO Energy Analyst Peter Zeniewski. And the increased flexibility liberalisation provides will be essential as the continent transitions to greater reliance on renewable energy sources, which are cleaner but whose output is more variable.

Meanwhile, our Executive Director noted last week that Russia’s announcement of plans to increase volumes of natural gas stored at its facilities in Europe is encouraging for the situation in European gas markets ahead of the winter.

Read the commentary.

Key lessons for phasing out CO2-emitting coal plants from electricity sectors

Coal power plants are the world’s largest source of electricity generation and the biggest single source of energy-related CO2 emissions. Reaching net zero globally by 2050 requires phasing out all unabated coal-fired generation in advanced economies by 2030, and worldwide by 2040.

Our new report on the subject examines three notable examples of phase-out efforts: the Canadian province of Ontario, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Based on these cases, we developed six key recommendations to ensure public support and energy security, and to avoid being stuck with stranded assets.

Read the report and a commentary summarising its analysis and recommendations by Senior Energy Analyst Carlos Fernández Alvarez.

IEA spearheads initiative to double efficiency of household appliances

We are working with the UK government to lead the Product Efficiency Call to Action to double the efficiency of household appliances, a key element for reaching net zero targets. Electricity demand is set to grow as we move towards a net zero world as sectors that now rely on fossil fuels, such as transport and heating, switch to electricity, and as economic development raises global demand for everything from air conditioners to modern kitchens.

About 120 countries have or are developing some mix of minimum energy performance standards or energy labels that can help consumers make informed choices, and the evidence we looked at shows that these and other policies aimed at improving appliance efficiency have helped halve the energy consumption of major appliances. Policy makers must now broaden the scale and scope of these policies, and raise their ambitions.

Read more in our recent article. And if you’re at COP26 next week, join our panel discussion on this topic at the UK Pavilion on 4 November.

Data on greenhouse gas emissions from energy

Have a look through a free extract from our Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Energy data. This product, previously called CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, contains an extensive selection of greenhouse gas emissions data from the energy sector for over 190 countries and regions. Emissions data are based on the World Energy Balances and on the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

With the objective to increase the scope and time range of greenhouse gas emissions estimates, we have expanded the data included in this file with the following indicators: energy-related greenhouse gas emissions; fugitive greenhouse gas emissions; and an extended time series, starting in 1751 of CO2 emissions from fuel combustion.

Tell us what you think of the IEA by filling out our global stakeholder survey

We recently launched a global stakeholder survey to hear your views and further enhance the work we deliver. We would like to warmly thank you for your time if you’ve already participated. If you haven’t done so yet, by completing this survey you will join other representatives from national governments, international organisations, the private sector, civil society and beyond to shape how we engage with you and communicate the information and insight that you find most useful. We would be very grateful for your input before the survey closes on Friday 5 November.

Your participation should take no longer than 15 minutes and the information you provide will be treated as confidential, reported in aggregate and not attributed to you or your organisation. Access the survey by clicking on this link.

ENERGY SNAPSHOT
Clean energy jobs created in 2023 and 2030 by scenario
Millions more new jobs will be created globally by the rise of new clean energy industries than will be lost from the shrinking of fossil fuel industries. The latest update of our Sustainable Recovery Tracker estimates that current government spending plans are set to create demand for an additional 5 million jobs in clean energy globally by 2023. And by implementing policies to further accelerate the transition to clean energy, governments can catalyse the creation of millions more jobs.
Source: International Energy Agency

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