It is possible to reduce global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 70 percent by 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report shows on Monday.
The study, Perspectives for the Energy Transition: Investment Needs for a Low-Carbon Energy Transition which launched at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue 2017 finds that CO2 emissions can be completely phased-out by 2060 with a net positive economic outlook.
Currently, renewable energy accounts for 24 percent of global power generation and 16 percent of primary energy supply.
"To achieve decarbonization by 2050, renewables should be 80 percent of power generation and 65 percent of total primary energy supply," according to the study.
The decarbonization of the global energy system led by clean energy sources and energy efficiency would create economic gains, the study shows.
The study also asserts that the global temperature rise should be no more than two degrees Celsius to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change.
- Clean energy sector offers new jobs
The generation of new jobs in the renewable energy sector would boost global gross domestic product by 0.8 percent by 2050, and would more than offset job losses in the fossil fuel industry.
Furthermore, jobs could be created through energy efficiency activities. And through reduced air pollution, environmental improvements and further health benefits would be possible.
The report also shows that in 2015, 32 gigatonnes (GT) of energy-related CO2 were emitted globally.
Emissions will need to fall continuously to 9.5 GT by 2050 to limit warming to no more than two degrees above pre-industrial temperatures, the report says.
"Ninety percent of this energy CO2 emission reduction can be achieved through expanding renewable energy deployment and improving energy efficiency," the report underlined.
- Energy transition activities
The report also describes how the energy sector's transition to renewables needs to be expanded to more energy-intensive sectors.
"The buildings, industry and transport sectors also need more bioenergy, solar heating and electricity from renewable sources as a substitute for conventional energy," according to the study.
The study also suggests that electric vehicles need to become the predominant car type by 2050, and that liquid biofuel production should see a ten-fold growth.
"Highly efficient all-electric buildings should become the norm. Deployment of heat pumps must accelerate and a combined total of two billion buildings would need to be newly built or renovated," according to the report.
IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said in his comments on the report's results that the focus must be on the decarbonization of the global energy system as it accounts for almost two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions.
"Critically, the economic case for the energy transition has never been stronger. Today around the world, new renewable power plants are being built that will generate electricity for less cost than fossil-fuel power plants. And through 2050, the decarbonization can fuel sustainable economic growth and create more new jobs in renewables," he concluded.
By Gulsen Cagatay