The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released its annual Tracking Clean Energy Progress report. The Paris-based organisation stated that “encouraging signs of progress across a number of sectors” have been made, however more still needs to be done if we want to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target.
A key positive the IEA mentioned was the incredible EV sales growth experienced in 2021. 6.6 million electric cars were sold last year, representing 9% of the entire automotive industry. In 2022 that figure is expected to jump to around 9.5 million (or 13%). The IEA believes electric vehicles are on track to meet targets outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, however sales in developing countries need to improve.
The IEA also discussed several sectors that are lagging behind the 2050 targets set by the Paris Agreement:
“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.”
In total, the IEA's report highlighted 30 areas that are "not on track". Meanwhile, a further 23 "need more effort". That said, the IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, appears positive about the future. He reckons the current energy crisis (caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine) can lead to the rapid development of more environmentally friendly solutions. He stated the following (via CNBC):
"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."