The IEA has just published Net Zero by 2050: A roadmap for the global energy sector. The report states that:

The world needs a “radical” shift towards renewables to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and secure the 1.5C goal.

It argues for a total transformation of the energy systems that underpin our economies, with no new oil or gas sites to be developed beyond this year. Current emissions reduction pledges are inadequate, and indeed despite past pledges emissions have risen by 60% since the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1992! (This really makes me shudder as 1992 was the year I became a mother).

“Beyond projects already committed as of 2021, there are no new oil and gas fields approved for development in our pathway, and no new coal mines or mine extensions are required.”

Responses have been mixed as you can imagine. The Energy Monitor article, Net zero: keeping fossil fuels in the ground is the only corporate strategy possible discusses what fossil fuel companies should be doing and gives good examples of how some European companies have transformed themselves.

Happily by the end of May 21st G7 members had decided to heed the IEA demands on financing coal production in the main….

“We commit to promoting the increased international flow of public and private capital toward Paris Agreement-aligned investments and away from high-carbon power generation to support the clean energy transition in developing countries. In this context, we will phase out new direct government support for carbon-intensive international fossil fuel energy, except in limited circumstances at the discretion of each country, in a manner that is consistent with an ambitious, clearly defined pathway towards climate neutrality in order to keep 1.5C within reach, in line with the long-term objectives of the Paris Agreement and best available science.

“Consistent with this overall approach and recognising that continued global investment in unabated coal generation is incompatible with keeping 1.5C within reach, we stress that international investments in unabated coal must stop now and commit to take concrete steps towards an absolute end to new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment, and financial and trade promotion support.”

All the more reason to keep pushing for CFD to facilitate the move away from fossil fuels!

I am sure you will have noticed the explosion of coverage on the climate crisis over the last year, even in sections of the press which have hitherto been in denial! Often, of course, you will find that if a carbon price is mentioned it is presumed to be an assault on our way of life – cheese, meat and holidays in the sun! I do wonder if fear of the ‘red tops’ is one of the reasons why the Government stated in The Future of Carbon Pricing Report (2020) that..

While we recognise the merits of a Carbon Fee and Dividend policy, we do
not propose to adopt it at this time.

Articles or letters claiming that climate change policies are bound to be punitive offer a great opportunity to respond with the case for CF&D (or use the more appropriate term Climate Income), pointing out that CI is not like the green levy or even fuel duties because the fee is returned as a dividend to offset the rising cost of fossil fuels until they are basically priced out of the market, thus making the promises made at the G7 and to be made at COP26 more likely to be achievable!

The IEA report emphasises the need for this to start now!