New IEA net zero report leaves big polluters less room to hide

(Climate Home News, 27 Sep 2023) Big polluters need to move faster to wean themselves off fossil fuels and rely less on expensive and underperforming technologies, the International Energy Agency warned in its latest net zero assessment.

The influential energy watchdog has downgraded the role of technofixes such as carbon capture and hydrogen in meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. As their development is failing to live up to expectations – the IEA argues – countries should instead focus on the “most cost-effective” solutions, like ramping up renewables, energy efficiency and electrification.

The updated scenarios give less cover to the oil and gas industry and petrostates to promote these technologies for prolonging the use of fossil fuels.

“Removing carbon from the atmosphere is very costly. We must do everything possible to stop putting it there in the first place,” said IEA executive director Fatih Birol in a statement.

The IEA is also calling on all countries to bring forward their net zero plans.

It says rich nations should reach net zero emissions by 2045 under an “equitable pathway” that sees historical polluters take the lead. Only a handful of European countries, including Germany, are aiming to achieve that target.

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Climate Home News, 27 Sep 2023: New IEA net zero report leaves big polluters less room to hide