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IEA calls for more investment in clean energy to reach zero emissions by 2050

3 June 2021

Energy investment is expected to recover by almost 10% in 2021 as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, but even so, the level of clean energy spending is insufficient to meet environmental goals, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

The IEA expects global energy investment to reach $1.9 trillion this year, recovering much of the pandemic’s decline last year and continuing the transition to electricity. 2021 is about to become the sixth consecutive year in which investments in electricity will overtake those in oil and gas, according to Agerpres.

According to IEA estimates, global investment in electricity will increase by 5% this year to a record high of $820 billion, and of the $530 billion allocated for new generation capacity, about 70% will be directed to renewables. In comparison, investments in the upstream oil and gas segment will amount to $350 billion, which means that they will still be below the level recorded before the pandemic.

“The return on energy investment is an encouraging sign and I am glad to see that a higher percentage is allocated to renewables. But much greater resources need to be mobilized in clean energy technologies to put the world on the path to zero emissions in 2050,” said IEA Director General Fatih Birol, in the preview of the publication of the World Energy Investment report. According to Fatih Birol, investments in clean energy must triple by 2030.

Last month, the IEA issued a harsh warning to the energy industry, stressing that investors should not fund new oil, gas and coal projects if the world wants to reach zero carbon by 2050.

On Tuesday, the IEA warned that coal investment would grow by 9% annually in 2021, after a significant drop last year, meaning that this fossil fuel has not yet disappeared from the landscape.

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