Global energy consumption in 2018 increased at nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world. As a result, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose 1.7% to a historic high of 33.1 Gt CO2.
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.
Energy investment remained at $1.85 trillion in 2018 while a rise in fossil fuel supply investment offset lower power and stable efficiency spend. Despite the shift, power was the largest sector for the third year in a row.
Today’s capital allocation would need to shift rapidly towards cleaner sources and electricity networks in order to align with the Sustainable Development Scenario and the Paris Agreement.