Most of the world's energy sectors are failing to clean up their emissions fast enough to stay on course with Paris Agreement goals, according to a new International Energy Agency report.
In an analysis this month, IEA broke down global energy systems into 55 components, ranging from specific technologies like heat pumps to climate problems like methane emissions from oil and gas. It found only two of the components — electric vehicles and lighting — are evolving in a way that will allow them to zero out carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
"This new IEA analysis shows the need for greater and sustained efforts across a range of technologies and sectors to ensure the world can meet its energy and climate goals," said Fatih Birol, IEA's executive director, in a statement.
The mismatch with climate goals is occurring even though many low-carbon industries are seeing rapid growth. Carbon capture and hydrogen projects are beginning to proliferate, while sales of electric heat pumps and renewables have hit record levels, for instance.
One longstanding object of policymakers' attention — the electricity sector — has seen global emissions rise to their highest-ever levels last year partly due to coal power's resurgence. Coal plants generated a record amount of power in 2021, making up 36 percent of global electricity, while the fuel’s emissions climbed by a record 6.6 percent.