The Covid pandemic caused an ‘exogenous’ shock in the energy sector, with a 6% drop in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, but this will certainly be cancelled out by the global economic recovery from 2021.
Our societies are having difficulty moving away from the view that a low-carbon economy goes hand-in-hand with low economic growth. So what we need is a powerful, immediate and lasting ‘endogenous’ shock. This involves several complementary dimensions.
On the demand side, it concerns energy efficiency and changes to consumption in specialised distribution, leisure, housing, travel, etc. It also requires a general roll-out of eco-friendly technologies in manufacturing, transport, heating, insulation, lighting, etc. The most energy-intensive companies are making great progress on these fronts, under the pressure of public opinion.
On the supply side, we need to review the link between uses and energy mix, drastically reduce the number of coal-fired power plants and massively develop the renewable energies (biogas, solar, wind, hydroelectricity, etc.) associated with the new technologies and uses of the future – for example, hydrogen vehicles.
Professor at Grenoble School of Management. Coordinator of the Energy for Society Chair
Outlook for 2030:
- 38% of greenhouse gases still produced by coal.
- 27% reduction in greenhouse gases (scenario 1, “business as usual”).
- 46% reduction in greenhouse gases (scenario 2, “sustainable development”).
Source : International Energy Agency (IEA)