A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) has found global energy demand, emissions and investments are set to fall in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kallanish Energy reports.
The World Energy Outlook 2020 report, published on Tuesday, examines both the impact of the pandemic on the global energy market and several potential “pathways” for the energy sector over the next 10 years, based on varying timelines for recovery from the pandemic.
The report’s findings detail that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic global energy demand is set to drop by 5% in 2020, while energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and energy investment are due to fall by 7% and 18% respectively.
The IEA estimates that natural gas demand is set to decrease by approximately 3% over the course of this year, while oil and coal demand is set to fall by 8% and 7% respectively. In contrast, demand for renewable energy is expected to see a 0.9% increase in 2020.
Global demand for electricity is estimated to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in early 2023 under the fastest recovery scenario, however, this may be delayed until at least 2025 in the event of a prolonged pandemic or a more severe economic downturn.
Meanwhile, global energy emissions are set to bounce back more slowly than after the financial crisis of 2008-2009, according to the report, as a “step-change” in clean energy investment is required in all post-pandemic scenarios in order to achieve clean energy and carbon neutrality targets set out for 2050.
“The economic downturn has temporarily suppressed emissions, but low economic growth is not a low-emissions strategy – it is a strategy that would only serve to further impoverish the world’s most vulnerable populations. Only faster structural changes to the way we produce and consume energy can break the emissions trend for good,” said IEA executive director, Fatih Birol.
“Governments have the capacity and the responsibility to take decisive actions to accelerate clean energy transitions and put the world on a path to reaching our climate goals, including net-zero emissions.”
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