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Putin’s war marks ‘turning point’ for global fossil fuel demand, IEA says

Putin’s war marks ‘turning point’ for global fossil fuel demand, IEA says

by host

The global energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks a “turning point” for global fossil fuel demand and could accelerate the world’s green transition, the International Energy Agency said in landmark report Thursday.

The report, which models different scenarios for the world’s energy trajectory, also found for the first time that current government policies could lead to demand for fossil fuels either peaking or plateauing in the next decade globally.

“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February has had far-reaching impacts on the global energy system,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement.

The resulting crisis “can in fact be a historic turning point towards a cleaner and more secure energy system thanks to the unprecedented response from governments around the world,” he added.

In response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war, the EU pledged to wean itself off Russian energy and accelerate its climate ambitions. The bloc has now reduced its reliance on Moscow’s gas to 9 percent, down from 40 percent before the war.

Russia’s role as a global energy supplier will continue to shrink, the IEA projected, with Moscow set to deliver just 13 percent of the world’s energy by the end of the decade compared with 20 percent last year.

Under current climate policies, global demand for gas will plateau by 2030. Demand for coal could peak within a few years, while demand for oil will reach its height in the next decade.

That timeline will see the share of fossil fuels in the global energy mix fall from 80 percent today to 60 percent by 2050. 

Investment into clean energy continued to grow this year, rising to €1.4 trillion, though this figure would need to double by 2030 to be consistent with national climate pledges, the report found.

The IEA added that net income for the world’s oil and gas producers doubled this year, rising to an unprecedented €4 trillion.

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