Bridging the gap: Global transformation of the energy system

Yacob Mulugetta, Pablo E. Carvajal, James Arthur Haselip, Thomas Spencer

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The energy sector will be essential in the enhanced global mitigation efforts required to bridge the emissions gap in 2030 and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This will necessitate a complete transformation of the way energy is produced and consumed. To illustrate the scale of the challenge, coal-fired power plants were the single largest contributor to emissions growth in 2018, an increase of 2.9 per cent compared with the previous year and surpassing annual total emissions of 10 GtCO2 (International Energy Agency [IEA] 2019a). The transformation will be challenged by the fact that demand for energy services will grow 30 per cent by 2040, according to the IEA (2018a). However, primary energy demand will grow by
a lesser rate or actually fall, depending on the achieved rate of energy efficiency improvement. The current global energy system is still highly carbonintensive with coal, oil and natural gas meeting 85 per cent ofall energy needs (IEA 2019e). If the necessary transition does not occur, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will continue to increase year-on-year.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmissions Gap Report 2019
Publication date2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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