The report said the recovery was putting major strains on parts of the energy system, leading to sharp rises in prices for natural gas, coal and electricity as worldwide energy demand is set to regain the ground lost last year during the pandemic.
Electricity demand in particular had come “roaring back" in Asia, leading to a rise in the use of coal-fired plants. Such energy crunches were a prelude of more disruption to come if investment in new sources of energy did not increase, according to the report.
Representatives of more than 200 countries will gather for the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12 in Glasgow, Scotland, to discuss new targets for cutting or curbing the growth of emissions that contribute to climate change.
The goal under the 2015 Paris climate accord is to limit the rise of global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees.
The U.N.’s scientific committee on climate change has said emissions must be cut to net zero — when greenhouse gases are balanced out by their removal from the atmosphere — by 2050 to reach the 1.5-degree limit.
Birol said governments' current pledges would result in only 20% of the reduction by 2030 needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. He said investment in clean energy and infrastructure would have to triple over the next decade “to jolt the energy system onto a new set or rails.” Most of that spending would have to come in emerging and developing economies, where financing can be scarce and which are still facing a public health crisis.
There was remains only a “narrow but achievable” pathway to net zero, according to the agency.
The financial think tank Carbon Tracker Initiative said the report was “real guidance on managing the climate crisis” but cautioned that “it remains excessively cautious about falls in renewable energy costs and growth rates worldwide.”
Follow AP's coverage of climate change issues at https://apnews.com/hub/climate-change