Futuribles Journal n° 438

Économie, emploi - Recherche, sciences, techniques - Ressources naturelles, énergie, environnement

Global Energy Perspectives to 2040: The International Energy Agency’s Scenarios

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Last March, Futuribles launched a new series on the climate and on ecological transition, which are essential long-term issues that seemed to us to be poorly factored in by governments or not considered at all. Just afterwards, the Covid-19 pandemic spread around the world, bringing with it a major international economic crisis that will drive most countries to draw up recovery plans to cope with it. The dramatic current situation is undoubtedly also an opportunity to combine the two challenges, the ecological and the economic, and, to do that, it will be crucial to have a long-term vision of global energy perspectives.

Laura Cozzi, who is in charge of developing these perspectives within the IEA, outlines the scenarios that may be envisaged to 2040, taking into account both the huge upheaval produced by the Covid-19 crisis (economic crisis, interruption to transport, reduced consumption etc.) and international climate objectives. After reminding us of the shock this crisis represents for the global energy system, she stresses the urgency of resolving the old problems that play a major role in greenhouse gas emissions (particularly, coal-fired power stations). She then shows the degree to which electricity is strategic today, and hence how important it is to increase the share of renewables in electricity production and invest in storage technologies (batteries). In this way, she emphasizes the key role of energy technologies in eventually decarbonizing our economies and making them more resilient, calling on states to invest substantially in this field.

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