Zero-emission vehicles and renewables will take off, says climate policy report

Government policy changes tackling global warming could result in zero-emission vehicles accounting for around 30% of all vehicles on the road by 2030, and wind and solar providing 30% of global production of electricity, tripling current levels, according to a policy report due Monday.

Rapid changes in food and land-use systems would also play a ‘critical role’, with ‘peak meat’ consumption around 2030 helping the world’s land absorb more carbon within 30 years, according to the report of the Principles for Responsible Investment, supported by the United Nations, a leading sustainable investment body.

In its “forward policy scenario”, considered the most likely, the report predicted “dramatic” and “radical” changes in policy by 2025 in the energy, transport, industry and food.

Such policy acceleration would keep warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, he said.

However, the global goal of limiting warming to no more than 1.5C would be out of reach without faster action, according to the report, released ahead of next month’s COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland .

Drawing on insights from more than 200 global policy experts, the PRI’s climate forecasting group’s report, Inevitable Policy Response, analyzes the likely direction of travel in the years to come, to inform investors’ investment practices. who manage $120 trillion in assets.

Strategic partners involved in the IPR include BlackRock, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Nuveen.

The Overland Park Solar Panel in Toledo, Ohio | Reuters

“BlackRock believes that climate risk is an investment risk and assessing climate risk on the path to net zero requires credible scenarios describing not only what is possible but also what is likely,” said Ashley Schulten, Head of ESG Investments, Global Fixed Income at BlackRock.

“The detailed policy forecasts in this work help the market conceptualize the key shifts that could occur in energy and land systems across the world if the predicted acceleration in climate policy occurs.”

Outlining what would be needed to meet the 1.5°C outcome, the report states in its “Required Policy Scenario” that the world should end deforestation, ideally by 2025; completely stop relentless coal burning by 2035; and phasing out new fossil fuel cars in nearly all markets by 2040, while achieving 100% clean energy globally by 2045.

The gap between forecasts and required scenarios meant that “companies, investors and governments that have committed to net zero by 2050 need to accelerate their efforts more than ever,” said global head Alex Bernhardt. research on sustainable development at BNP Paribas Asset Management.

“This is the key message as we approach COP26.”

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