• The IEA’s landmark report Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector was published in 2021. It translates the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) into a concrete roadmap for the global energy sector. In the two years since then, the energy sector has undergone major shifts.
  • Energy sector CO2 emissions remain worryingly high, reaching a new record of 37 gigatonnes (Gt) in 2022. Instead of starting to fall as envisaged in the 2021 report, demand for fossil fuels has increased – spurred by the energy crisis of 2022 after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and so have investments in supply. Progress on energy access has stalled while millions of people still lack access to electricity and clean cooking, notably in sub-Saharan Africa.   
  • On a brighter note, clean energy technology adoption surged at an unprecedented pace over the last two years. Solar PV capacity additions increased by nearly 50%, and currently track ahead of the trajectory envisaged in the 2021 version of our Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario (NZE Scenario). Electric car sales expanded 240% and stationary battery installations by 200% since 2020. We now estimate that global manufacturing capacities for solar PV and electric vehicle batteries would be sufficient to meet projected demand in 2030 in the updated NZE Scenario, if announced projects proceed. This progress reflects cost reductions for key clean energy technologies – solar PV, wind, heat pumps and batteries – which fell by close to 80% on a deployment weighted average basis between 2010 and 2022.

Announced manufacturing project throughput and deployment of key technologies in the Net Zero Scenario, 2030

  • Driven by policies, expanding markets, and falling costs, clean energy technologies are shifting the outlook for emissions even under current policies. In the Stated Policies Scenario, emissions are now projected to be 7.5 Gt lower in 2030 than in our 2015 Pre-Paris Baseline Scenario, of which policy driven expansions of solar PV and wind account for 5 Gt and electric vehicles for nearly 1 Gt. This shift in the outlook means that the projected warming of 2.4 °C in 2100 under current policy settings, though still worryingly high, is now 1 °C lower than before the Paris Agreement in 2015

Global energy sector CO2 emissions in the Pre-Paris Baseline and Stated Policies Scenarios, 2015-2030

  • Nearly 90% of countries have updated their first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. If countries deliver in line with their revised NDCs, emissions in 2030 will be around 5 Gt lower than under the first round of NDCs. But more needs to be done to be on course by 2030 to deliver announced longer-term net zero pledges or our NZE Scenario. Both advanced economies and emerging market and developing economies need to strengthen ambition. Fair and effective international co-operation is urgently needed to unlock clean energy investment in emerging market and developing economies other than in China.