Sales of electric vehicles are soaring and, if the trend continues, may reach an all-time high. The International Energy Agency expressed its admiration for the progress and stated that more efforts from other sectors are required to guarantee that the earth will attain net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The IEA revised its Tracking Clean Energy Progress report and noted encouraging developments in a number of industries with regard to cutting carbon emissions. However, if the objective is net zero emissions by the middle of the twenty-first century, the agency underlined that there should be “stronger efforts” from the sectors.
The IEA said that global sales of electric vehicles doubled in 2021, accounting for close to 9% of all auto sales.
“(2022 was) expected to see another all-time high for electric vehicle sales, lifting them to 13% of total light-duty vehicle sales globally,” the IEA said.
The company stated that 6.6 million EVs sold overall in 2021. Additionally, EV sales set records during the first quarter of 2022 and reached 2 million, a 75% increase in overall sales from the same quarter in 2021. The IEA is sure that if this situation holds, the nation will be well on its way to setting a new milestone by 2030 and maybe by 2050 as well.
“(It is) not yet a global phenomenon. Sales in developing and emerging countries have been slow due to higher purchase costs and a lack of charging infrastructure availability,” added the IEA.
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More to be done
They pointed out that there are other areas to consider despite the optimistic prediction for sales of electric vehicles. For example, other nations are not yet on pace to meet the climate goals they have set.
“Areas not on track include improving the energy efficiency of building designs, developing clean and efficient district heating, phasing out coal-fired power generation, eliminating methane flaring, shifting aviation and shipping to cleaner fuels, and making cement, chemical, and steel production cleaner,” the IEA explained.
The 2015 Paris Agreement sought to ensure that United Nations members were working together in the fight against climate change, bearing the goal to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.”
Only if carbon emissions caused by humans are reduced can the vision be a reality.
The IEA is optimistic
The IEA is confident that nations will uphold their pledges, notwithstanding the difficulties presented by the current energy crisis. Faith Birol, executive director of the IEA, expressed optimism but said that he would continue to exercise prudence and vehemently oppose any reversals in the effort to achieve net zero emissions.
“There are more signs than ever that the new global energy economy is advancing strongly. This reaffirms my belief that today’s global energy crisis can be a turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system,” he said.
“But this new IEA analysis shows the need for greater and sustained efforts across a range of technologies and sectors to ensure the world can meet its energy and climate goals.”
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Along with the IEA report, there are discussions and arguments about countries’ climate ambitions and the energy difficulties they are facing, particularly now that Russia has shut off its gas supply to many nations, forcing others to increase their reliance on fossil fuels.
In response, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly opposed the use of fossil fuels and said that the organization would make every effort to pursue countries that would back out of their climate change promises.
“Polluters must pay. And today, I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies,” Guterres said.
“That includes the banks, private equity, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution. Of course, fossil fuels cannot be shut down overnight. A just transition means leaving no person or country behind. But it’s high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice.”
Opinions expressed by CEO Weekly contributors are their own.