Climate Change

Energy sector is central to efforts to combat climate change

Promoting sustainable development and combating climate change have become intertwined aspects of energy planning, analysis and policy making. Energy accounts for two-thirds of total greenhouse gas, so the energy sector is the central player in efforts to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change.

IEA at COP 28
  • Helping countries formulate goals and implement actions consistent with net-zero emissions in the energy sector by 2050;
  • Supporting energy transitions that put people at the centre and are aligned with the achievement of SDG 7 objectives, including universal access to energy by 2030;
  • Sharing insights, reports and expertise to support the First Global Stocktake (GST) after the Paris Agreement, and helping countries reach their nationally determined contributions (NDCs), as well as other energy and climate commitments and long-term objectives; 
  • Strengthening engagement with key countries and stakeholders through interactions with experts from international organisations, government agencies, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, media and civil society.

Explore all of the IEA's contributions at COP 28.

Gross emissions and removals, and net emissions in the emerging and developing economies in the Net Zero Scenario, 2010-2050


The world needs to come together at COP28 – and fund a just energy transition

Last month, the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris underlined the need to close the gap on climate finance by driving investment in clean energy transition in emerging and developing economies. This is a pivotal year, in which the international community must back words with action – and COP28 is a vital moment for countries around the world to agree on concrete steps to stop the 1.5°C goal from slipping out of reach and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Even more worryingly, there is a major global divide in the funding needed for the clean energy transition. Emerging and developing economies account for four-fifths of the world’s population, including all 775 million people who lack access to electricity, as well as the 2.4 billion people who lack access to clean cooking fuels. These are also the economies where future emissions will mostly come from – and where the cost of reducing emissions is cheapest. Yet currently, they represent less than half of global investments in clean energy.
Key findings

Coal demand by region in the Stated Policies Scenario, 2000-2050


For the first time, global demand for each of the fossil fuels will peak in a WEO scenario

The STEPS sees a peak in energy-related CO2 emissions in the mid-2020s but emissions remain high enough to push up global average temperatures to around 2.4 °C in 2100. Tripling renewable energy capacity, doubling the pace of energy efficiency improvements to 4% per year, ramping up electrification and slashing methane emissions from fossil fuel operations together provide more than 80% of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to put the energy sector on a pathway to limit warming to 1.5 °C.

Even as demand for fossil fuels falls, energy security challenges will remain since the process of adjustment to changing demand patterns will not necessarily be easy or smooth. For example, the peaks in demand we see based on today’s policies do not remove the need for investment in oil and gas supply, given how steep the natural declines from existing fields often are. At the same time, they underline the economic and financial risks of major new oil and gas projects, on top of their risks for climate change

Annual change in global CO2 emissions from energy combustion and industrial processes, 1900-2022


Global growth in emissions was lower than feared in 2022

In an exceptionally turbulent year with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, energy price shocks, rising inflation, and major disruptions to traditional fuel trade flows, global growth in emissions was lower than anticipated.

Impressive growth of solar PV and wind generation helped prevent around 465 Mt CO2 in power sector emissions. Other clean energy technologies, including other renewables, electric vehicles, and heat pumps, helped prevent an additional roughly 85 Mt CO2. Without this increased growth in clean energy deployment, the annual increase in energy-related emissions would have been almost triple. Emissions reductions also resulted from economic slowdowns, including 155 Mt CO2 from decreases in energy-intensive industrial production, mainly in China, the European Union, Japan, Korea and North America.