The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a special report today, “Net Zero in 2050: A roadmap for the global energy system,” that backs calls to end new licensing and finance for new fossil fuel extraction.

The report is the agency’s first ever effort to model a comprehensive energy pathway towards limiting global warming to 1.5°C, following years of pressure to properly consider international climate commitments in their energy projections[2].

Amongst the 400 “milestones to guide the global journey to net zero” are:

  • From today, no investment or licensing for new fossil fuel supply projects
  • By 2035, no sales of new internal combustion engine passenger cars
  • By 2040, the global electricity sector has already reached net-zero emissions.

Currently, the UK and Scottish Government both support maximum recovery of oil and gas in UK waters – ignoring the climate impact of drilling and burning these fossil fuels.

Responding to the report, Friends of the Earth Scotland Just Transition Campaigner Ryan Morrison said:

“It is massive news that the IEA has recognised that new licenses for oil and gas are completely incompatible with our climate commitments. The report must be a trigger for the UK and Scottish Governments to bring workers and communities together to plan for a rapid but fair transition away from fossil fuels.

“Denmark, Ireland, Spain and New Zealand have already ended new licensing for fossil fuels. With COP26 in Glasgow later this year, all eyes will be on the UK and Scottish Government as they run out of excuses for their reckless support of the companies seeking yet more fossil fuels.

“By previously failing to fully consider climate in their models, the IEA has been used as cover for fossil fuel producing countries and companies. This report is a step change but with the huge reliance they place on unproven technologies, such as carbon capture or burning trees for energy, more is needed to truly move beyond fossil fuel to a clean energy future.”


Notes to editors

  1. The Net Zero in 2050 report was released by the International Energy Agency today. https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050
    IEA Press release: https://www.iea.org/news/pathway-to-critical-and-formidable-goal-of-net-zero-emissions-by-2050-is-narrow-but-brings-huge-benefits-according-to-iea-special-report
  2. #FixTheWEO, led by Oil Change International, is a campaign involving climate advocates, investors, businesses and diplomats who have been urging the IEA for years to align their projections with the Paris Agreement climate commitments. http://www.fixtheweo.org/
  3. Denmark set to end all new oil and gas exploration
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55184580
    Irish ban on licences for new oil and gas comes into force following Cabinet decision https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/ban-on-licences-for-new-oil-and-gas-comes-into-force-following-cabinet-decision-1.4474497
    Spain unveils climate law to cut emissions to net zero by 2050 https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/05/18/spain-unveils-climate-law-cut-emissions-net-zero-2050/
    New Zealand bans all new offshore oil exploration as part of ‘carbon-neutral future’ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/12/new-zealand-bans-all-new-offshore-oil-exploration-as-part-of-carbon-neutral-future
  4. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
    * Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
    * An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
    * Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.