New climate targets for the current decade require focus on renewable power and electrification, says GlobalData

As the US sets a new target to halve emissions by 2030 and holds a summit to promote similar climate targets;

Will Scargill, Managing Energy Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on how such targets can be achieved:

“Achieving major reductions in carbon emissions in this decade requires rapid gains and the best way to achieve that will be through electrification. With renewable power technologies well developed, delivering cleaner power to buildings and manufacturing, and driving the electrification of road transport present the clearest initial path for decarbonization.

“Renewable power generation coupled with continued electrification of end use sectors can unlock major reductions in emissions, but the scale will still be contingent on the overall power mix. GlobalData’s current outlook sees renewables’ share of the global power mix increasing from around 30% in 2021 to around 40% in 2030, so there is still significant room for improvement. The outlook for the power mix varies significantly across the globe, with renewables contributing 71% in Western Europe by 2030 compared to 35% in the US, 38% in China and 27% in India. As countries look to accelerate this transition, the modernization of power grids and integration of energy storage will also be increasingly important.

“The shift to electric vehicles can also play a major role in cutting overall emissions over the next decade, with road transport estimated to have contributed around 18% of global carbon emissions pre-COVID. However, despite a raft of recent announcements by vehicle manufactures and policymakers on phasing out internal combustion engines, GlobalData currently expects only around 20% of new light vehicles to be fully electric globally by 2030. Speeding up this shift will be vital to meeting climate targets.

“Technologies such as hydrogen fuel and carbon capture are also likely to play a significant role meeting global climate goals, particularly when it comes to hard to abate sectors like heavy industry, aviation and shipping. However, the ramp-up period required to further develop and implement them means that they are unlikely to be able to make a major impact on emissions this decade.”

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