Global ambitions to reach net zero carbon emissions could be delayed by decades without more collaboration between countries, warned the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The climate agency revealed the world remains “far off track” to meet internationally-agreed climate change goals, which also include plans to contain global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees from pre-industrial levels, in line with the Paris Agreement.
The UK is committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 alongside the US and Japan, while China has pledged a 2060 target.
In its freshly published Breakthrough Agenda Report, the IEA argued further cooperation between developed economies would both ease the cost and speed up the transition to low carbon energy sources while cutting emissions.
This follows the leaders of 45 countries, including the UK, confirming their intention at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow last year to work together to make clean technologies and sustainable solutions.
Collectively, these countries represent over two-thirds of global GDP.
The IEA’s report covered five sectors: power, hydrogen, road transport, steel and agriculture, which the IEA calculates represent nearly 60 per cent of global emissions.
Its proposals include creating new cross-border super-grids this decade to increase trade in low-carbon power across countries, while improving energy security across Western economies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
It is also in favour of setting up new international centres of expertise to channel finance and technical assistance to help coal-producing countries’ transition to renewables.
This includes significantly increasing funds to drive industry transition in emerging and developing economies.
Alongside finances and infrastucture, the group is pushing countries to establish a common definition and target dates for new road vehicles will be net zero, targeting 2035 for cars and vans and the 2040s for heavy duty vehicles
New research cited by the report shows that some technology costs may decline by as much as 18 per cent by 2030.
Meanwhile data from the International Renewable Agency, cited by the report, suggests an energy transition aligned with limiting global temperature in line with the Paris Agreement could create close to 8m additional jobs by 2030 compared to 2019, more than offsetting losses of 12m jobs.
Renewable capacity increased 130 per cent in the past decade, while non-renewable sources grew by 24 per cent.
However, the IEA forecasts that the world needs to deliver additional renewable capacity of 630 GW for solar and 390 GW of wind each year by 2030, four times the current annual increase.
IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol argued that without further collaboration the transition to net zero emissions will be “much more challenging and could be delayed by decades.”
He said: “We are in the midst of the first truly global energy crisis, with devastating knock-on consequences across the world economy, especially in developing countries. Only by speeding up the transition to clean sustainable energy can we achieve lasting energy security.”
The pressure to shift to green energy has increased following record spikes in wholesale costs driven by soaring gas prices.
This has driven energy bills to all-time highs, forcing the Government to step in with a £130bn-plus support package which will freeze the price cap at £2,500 per year for the next two years.
Downing Street has also committed to a vast ramp up of renewable and nuclear power as part of its energy security strategy, while new Prime Minister Liz Truss is primed to lift the moratorium on fracking.