Photo Credit: Roger Kisby
Sales of electric vehicles are surging, and they could hit an all-time high if the trend continues. The International Energy Agency is impressed with the development and said more work needs to be done by other sectors to ensure that the planet will reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The IEA updated its Tracking Clean Energy Progress and reported positive responses among several sectors in terms of reducing carbon emissions. However, the agency emphasized that there should be “stronger efforts” from the sectors if the goal is net zero emissions by the middle of the 21st century.
According to IEA, global electric vehicle sales doubled in 2021, representing almost 9% of the total sales in the car market.
“(2022 was) expected to see another all-time high for electric vehicle sales, lifting them to 13% of total light-duty vehicle sales globally,” said the IEA.
The organization reported that in 2021, the total sales of EVs hit 6.6 million. In addition, during the first quarter of 2022, EV sales topped records and recorded sales totaling 2 million which is a 75% increase in total sales from the same quarter in 2021. If this continues, the IEA is confident that the country is well on its way to reaching another milestone by 2030 and possibly hitting the mark by 2050.
“(It is) not yet a global phenomenon. Sales in developing and emerging countries have been slow due to higher purchase costs and a lack of charging infrastructure availability,” said the IEA.
More needs to be done
They noted that despite the positive outlook in electric vehicle sales, there are other regions to be considered. Other countries are not yet on track to achieving the target that they have placed.
“Areas not on track include improving the energy efficiency of building designs, developing clean and efficient district heating, phasing out coal-fired power generation, eliminating methane flaring, shifting aviation and shipping to cleaner fuels, and making cement, chemical, and steel production cleaner,” they added.
The 2015 Paris Agreement tried to assure that member-countries of the United Nations were on the same page in combatting climate change, with the goal to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.”
The vision could only be possible if human-made carbon emissions were cut.
The IEA is positive
Despite the current energy crisis challenges, the IEA is positive that countries will not back down on their commitments. However, while optimistic, IEA executive director, Faith Birol, said he will still practice caution and firmly oppose any backward developments in the campaign for net zero emissions.
“There are more signs than ever that the new global energy economy is advancing strongly. This reaffirms my belief that today’s global energy crisis can be a turning point towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system,” he said.
“But this new IEA analysis shows the need for greater and sustained efforts across a range of technologies and sectors to ensure the world can meet its energy and climate goals.”
Along with the report from the IEA are debates and discussions related to the climate goals of countries and the energy crises that countries face, especially since Russia has cut off its gas supply in several countries, forcing others to change their dependence on fossil fuels.
In response, UN secretary general Antonio Guterres ruled firmly against using fossil fuels and announced that the agency would work hard to scramble upon nations that will back down from the climate change commitments.
“Polluters must pay. And today, I am calling on all developed economies to tax the windfall profits of fossil fuel companies,” he said.
“That includes the banks, private equity, asset managers and other financial institutions that continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution. Of course, fossil fuels cannot be shut down overnight. A just transition means leaving no person or country behind. But it’s high time to put fossil fuel producers, investors and enablers on notice.”