The emissions reduction targets set in the Paris Climate talks earlier this year are too weak to successfully keep the global temperature increase below the negotiated cap of "well below" 2 degrees Celsius.
The "World Energy Outlook," a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), states that meeting the emissions targets is possible, and that doing so would slow climate change, reports the New York Times. But even if the targets are met, the report finds that global temperatures would rise 2.7 degrees Celsius, about 80% higher than the 1.5 degree goal set in Paris.
The report doesn't rule out the possibility of achieving the 1.5 degree cap, but it says that "the road to 1.5C goes through uncharted territory," and calls the prospects of doing so "stark." To achieve this goal, renewable energy sources must play a larger role than expected, and within a shorter timeframe.
"It would require net-zero emissions at some point between 2040 and 2060," the report says, which would take an estimated $35 trillion investment in energy efficiency.
The current climate targets make net-zero emissions possible before the end of the century, but "the more ambitious the target for limiting global warming, the earlier this point of net-zero emissions has to be reached."
According to the IEA, the pathway to 2 degrees requires 700 million electric cars to be on the road by 2040, offsetting the demand for 6 million barrels of oil per day.
Dr. Faith Birol, IEA's executive director, says that renewable energy needs to be applied in sectors where it's been as yet neglected. "The next frontier for the renewable story," she says, "is to expand their use in the industrial, building and transportation sectors where enormous potential for growth exists."
The release of IEA's report comes as world leaders meet in Marrakech, Morocco, to continue the climate talks, reports Morocco World News. The conferees affirmed the progress made in Paris, and called for "strong solidarity with those countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change." Developed countries reaffirmed their commitment of $100 billion to assist in mobilizing these efforts.
The climate proclamation that came out of Marrakech also mentioned the "extraordinary momentum" on climate change "driven not only by governments, but by science, business and global action of all types at all levels."
In what may have been a slight at President Elect Donald Trump, who has said, according to Business Standard, that he wants to reduce the U.S.' role in the Paris accords, world leaders in Marrakech stated, "This momentum is irreversible"