Clean energy remains just a tiny part of the pandemic economic recovery plans despite some improvement, the IEA said on Thursday as it warned carbon dioxide emissions were set to rebound.
Investments in clean energy — whether it is renewable production, electric vehicles or efficiency measures — represent only 3 percent of the $16.9 trillion mobilised globally for recovery plans, the International Energy Agency said.
That is an improvement from the 2 percent when the IEA first issued a report on the subject in July.
“Recovery plans globally are still insufficient to put emissions into structural decline,” said the Paris-based agency, which advises governments of industrialised nations on energy policy.
Moreover, it warned that “lead times on many recovery measures prevent them from reining in the immediate rebound in CO2 emissions, which is set to be the second largest in history.”
Over the longer term, the IEA said that absent significant steps by nations “global emissions are set to continue to diverge sharply from a path consistent with net zero emissions from the energy sector by 2050.”
The IEA’s warning comes just days ahead of a G20 leaders summit, as well as the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which is being billed as crucial for the long-term viability of the Paris climate deal meant to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The agency says some $470 billion has been earmarked by governments for clean energy projects through 2030, a 20 percent increase from July.
But it noted a growing divide between certain advanced economies (such as the US, France, Japan and Britain) and less wealthy nations where green investments are sorely necessary.
“The shortfall in sustainable recovery spending in emerging and developing economies is a global problem that requires a global solution,” the IEA’s director, Fatih Birol, said in a statement.