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IEA: Global CO2 emissions rise to all-time high

BERKELEY, California, 11 March 2022: As You Sow, an advocacy non-profit that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility, quoted the International Energy Agency (IEA) as saying that global carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from energy combustion and industrial processes rose to their highest ever level in 2021. Making the announcement through a Press release, As You Sow added that a six per cent increase in 2021 pushed emissions to 36.3 gigatonnes, erasing the five per cent reduction in 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb higher when the effects of climate change are increasingly being felt it highlights the need to go beyond targets and implement immediate tangible emissions reductions, As You Sow said.

More than 70 countries, accounting for more than 80% of global CO2 emissions and 90% of global GDP, have committed to net-zero, as have more than 5,000 companies, As You Sow said. In order to see progress critical for keeping global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees C, there is a need for companies to pursue ambitious near-term targets, robust transition plans detailing steps to achieve targets and leadership in advocating for sweeping climate policy, As You Sow added.

As You Sow’s recent report, Road to Zero Emissions scores companies on net-zero progress and is in step with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s findings that near-term action is needed by prioritizing year-over-year emissions reductions aligned with 1.5 degrees C.

Danielle Fugere, President, As You Sow, said: “Investor value is being put at greater risk as emissions continue to rise. It is imperative for the safety of human society and the global economy that emissions are reduced immediately in line with the Paris Agreement. When it comes to climate change, we will not be given second chances, so the private sector must create climate transition plans that prioritize accountability and transparency.”

IEA releases ‘roadmap to net zero’ report

BERKELEY, California, 18 May 2021: The International Energy Agency (IEA) said it has published its first ever comprehensive roadmap to net-zero emissions by 2050. The report, it added, provides guidance for governments, companies, investors and the public on what is necessary to fully decarbonize the energy sector and lower greenhouse gas emissions to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The report, it said, comes after it received widespread criticism for systematically underestimating the pace of adoption of clean energy technologies, such as solar and wind, and substantially overestimating their costs. Critics, it said, argued that IEA projections had effectively acted as support for the fossil fuel industry’s business-as-usual operations.

In a significant shift, the IEA said, it today recognizes that on a net-zero pathway there can be no investment in new fossil fuel supply. This, it said, includes oil, gas and coal projects. The IEA said, it confirms that with the introduction of policy to achieve climate stabilization at 1.5 degrees, the fossil fuel sector will face significant demand reduction.

Danielle Fugere, President, As You Sow, responding to the release of the report, said: “This new net-zero scenario from the IEA finally aligns with investor expectations and makes abundantly clear to fossil fuel companies that they must set net-zero targets, develop a clear transition strategy, and evolve in step with the decarbonizing global economy. Standing in the way of progress is no longer acceptable for companies’ own enterprise success or for the global economy.”

Daniel Stewart, Senior Research Associate, As You Sow, said: “Until now, the IEA’s research has been used to play down transition risks faced by the fossil fuel industry and as a support for inadequate energy and climate policy. IEA’s new scenario firms up what investors already knew about the steps needed to achieve climate stabilization by mid-century. It demonstrates without a doubt that it is difficult but absolutely possible to contain the catastrophic impact of runaway climate change, and signals major disruption on the horizon for industries reliant on fossil fuels.”

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