Daily Archives: April 1, 2017

IEA: 7 out of 10 cars must be electric to limit global warming to 2⁰C by 2050

With CO2 emissions frequently discussed in the automotive industry, it is useful to view this in a broader context.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that global CO2 emissions held at the same level in 2016 as in the previous two years. But to limit global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, which is the critical target for global climate policy, ‘would require an energy transition of exceptional scope, depth and speed, including a doubling of annual average energy-related investments from current levels’ according to the IEA.

The IEA attributes the stability in emissions to increased use of renewable energy, a shift from coal to natural gas and improvements in energy efficiency as well as structural changes in the global economy. However, to achieve long-term targets, the IEA also states that

‘emissions need to peak before 2020 and fall by more than 70% below today’s levels by 2050.’

So what does this mean for the automotive industry?

The IEA suggests numerous measures that are required to bring global emissions down to the target level by 2050. These include 95% of electricity being low-carbon, retrofitting building stock and a $3.5 trillion annual investment in the energy sector. The IEA believes that fossil fuels will still be needed but would only account for 40% of demand, half of their share today.

Crucially, to help reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, the IEA says

‘7 out of every 10 new cars would need to be electric, compared with 1 in 100 today.’

This relates to the share of electric vehicles in new registration figures globally, which is currently estimated at about 1%. However, the electric share of the parc is naturally significantly lower.

Read more: Autovista Group