Largely as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, global CO2 emissions are expected to decline by 8% in 2020, or almost 2.6 gigatonnes, to levels of 10 years ago. Such a year-on-year reduction would be the largest ever, six times larger than the previous record reduction of 0.4 Gt in 2009 – caused by the global financial crisis – and twice as large as the combined total of all previous reductions since the end of World War II.
The future outlined in the Stated Policies Scenario is still well off track from the aim of a secure and sustainable energy future. It describes a world in 2040 where hundreds of millions of people still go without access to electricity, where pollution-related premature deaths remain around today’s elevated levels, and where CO2 emissions would lock in severe impacts from climate change.
Achieving the Sustainable Development Scenario – a path fully aligned with the Paris Agreement aim of holding the rise in global temperatures to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C – requires rapid and widespread changes across all parts of the energy system. Sharp emission cuts are achieved thanks to multiple fuels and technologies providing efficient and cost-effective energy services for all.
Almost all investment activity has faced some disruption due to lockdowns, whether because of restrictions on the movement of people or goods, or because the supply of machinery or equipment was interrupted.
But the larger effects on investment spending in 2020, especially in oil, stem from declines in revenues due to lower energy demand and prices, as well as more uncertain expectations for these factors in the years ahead.