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IEA Shows Scope of Demand Uncertainty

Copyright © 2021 Energy Intelligence Group
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The world’s energy future is riven with uncertainty, with the direction of government policies driving radically different energy transitions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) asserts in its latest World Energy Outlook (WEO). Global oil demand in 2050 could be anywhere between 103 million barrels per day, as projected under the IEA's Stated Policies Scenario, and an eye wateringly low 24 million b/d under its controversial net-zero pathway. Prior to Covid-19, the world was on a disastrous path to a 3.5º temperature rise by next century, says IEA Chief Energy Modeler Laura Cozzi. But the net-zero announcements of the last year have set it on new trajectory. “For the first time in human history,” the world is poised to be “experiencing economic growth with declining CO2 emissions,” she said. “We have never seen so much ambition in climate change,” added IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. He noted that progress was not just on a rhetorical level, with more than 20% of cars sold last month in China, the world’s largest automobile market, being electric vehicles. But at the same time, Birol warned, announced net-zero pledges form only 20% of policies needed to hit global net-zero emissions by 2050.

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