Charting the Path to 1.5°C: How much time is needed to steer the world energy sector towards the 1.5°C target?
In the quest to monitor global and country-level progress towards a decarbonized world, Climate Action Tracker has set forth global and country-specific benchmarks aligned with the 1.5˚C target. These benchmarks assess the proportions of fossil gas, coal, and renewable energy sources within each nation's energy sector. A comprehensive analysis was conducted for 16 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, the EU27, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Let's delve into how these countries are faring in their efforts to meet these benchmarks.
United States and United Kingdom:
The United States and the United Kingdom have set 2035 targets for decarbonizing their power sectors, in alignment with the phased reduction of fossil gas required by that time. However, both nations still need to take additional steps to fully achieve these objectives.
The UK is making significant progress in its coal phase-out, slated for completion by 2024, aligning with the 1.5°C trajectory. Meanwhile, the EU, Germany, Chile, and South Africa are also moving in the right direction. Brazil, if it repeals legislation from the Bolsonaro era, could be on track for a positive shift.
Germany and Chile:
Germany and Chile are leading the pack when it comes to the deployment of renewable energy sources. While other countries, like China and India, are witnessing rapid growth in their renewable energy sectors, it's not happening at a pace that matches the necessary phasing out of fossil fuels.
India and China:
Both India and China currently maintain fossil gas levels compatible with the 1.5°C target. Nevertheless, they both need to formulate long-term strategies for the gradual phase-out of fossil gas.
In the context of Turkey, where fossil fuels continue to dominate the electricity landscape, there is a growing emphasis on increasing and diversifying renewable energy production to mitigate technological dependency. Coal's viability is diminishing due to rising financial risks, and interest in coal energy investments is dwindling. Urgent action is required for Turkey to significantly reduce fossil gas production by 2030 and establish a comprehensive plan for phasing out both coal and fossil gas. While Turkey has been increasing renewable energy production for over a decade and currently generates over 40% of its electricity from sources such as hydro and wind, the goal of reaching a 47.3% share of renewable electricity generation by 2030 still appears distant.
Climate Action Tracker highlights that there remain significant concerns as none of the analyzed countries have outlined explicit plans for phasing out fossil gas. Neil Grant, a partner organization of Climate Analytics and the lead author of the report, noted that while the G20 recently agreed on a global renewable energy target, governments worldwide still appear hesitant to fully commit to the phase-out of fossil fuels. It is emphasized that financial support is crucial to enable developing nations to meet their phase-out targets.
Hanna Fekete of the NewClimate Institute, a partner organization of Climate Action Tracker, underlines the need for international support to unlock the vast renewable energy potential in countries like Morocco, which currently heavily rely on coal power.