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Zero-emission vehicles, wind and solar energy seen taking off - climate report

Zero-emission vehicles, wind and solar energy seen taking off - climate report

  • Summary:
  • The most likely outcome will be a 2 degree Celsius maximum warming limit.
  • But 1.5 degrees are unlikely without more action now.
  • At COP26 climate talks, policy change will be the focus.

According to a policy report on Monday, government policy changes against global warming could result in zero-emission cars comprising about 30% of all vehicles on the road by 2030, and wind and solar providing 30% or more of global power generation, up from their current levels.

Rapid changes in food and land-use systems will play a "critical role" with "peak-meat" consumption around 2030 helping the planet's land absorb more carbon within 30 years, according to the Principles for Responsible Investment, backed by the United Nations.

Under its "Forecast Policy Scenario", considered to be the most likely scenario, the report predicted "dramatic" and "sweeping" changes in policy between now and 2025 in the energy, transportation, industry, and food industries.

Such a policy acceleration would allow us to keep warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the mid-century, it added.

However, the global goal of limiting warming to no more than 1.5 degrees C would be out of reach without more immediate action, according to the report, which will be released ahead of the COP26 global climate talks in Glasgow next month.

Drawing on data from more than 200 global policy experts, the Inevitable Policy Response, a report from the PRI's climate forecasting group, analyzes the likely direction of travel in the coming years to inform investment practices of investors with $120 trillion in assets.

BlackRock (BLK.N), Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GS.M) and Nuveen are strategic partners involved in the IPR.

"BlackRock believes climate risk is investment risk and assessing climate change risk on the path to net zero requires credible scenarios that highlight not only what is possible but also what may be possible," said Ashley Schulten, Head of ESG Investment, Global Fixed Income at BlackRock.

"The detailed policy projections in this work help the market understand the major changes that could occur in energy and land systems across the world if the forecasted climate policy acceleration occurs."

In its "Required Policy Scenario," the report stated that to maintain the 1.5 C target, the world would need to end deforestation, ideally by 2025; stop unabated coal burning by 202035; and phase out new fossil fuel-driven cars in almost all markets by 2030, while achieving 100% clean power worldwide by 2545.

The disparity between the forecast and required scenarios meant "companies, investors, and governments committed to achieving net zero by 2050 must now accelerate their efforts more than ever," said Alex Bernhardt, BNP Paribas Asset Management's Global Head of Sustainability Research.

That is the message that will be the focal point of COP26, according to the UNDP.

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