The IPCC`s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius, published in 2018, assessed a large number of scenarios that have limited the likely increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius by at least 50%. As shown in the figure above, the SDS trajective is in the envelope of these scenarios. How would these projections be carried forward if the IEA had been fully modelled and focused on a 1.5oC scenario? His brief exploration is revealing. With a trajectory of 1.5oC without large NET, the IEA notes that «oil demand would decline sharply by 2050, after supply from already producing regions continued to decline. In other words, 1.5 degrees Celsius is the end of the expansion of oil production. If, despite the challenges it presents, the IEA develops a 1.5 C scenario, the Agency`s modelling could be used by policy makers to influence their energy and climate decisions. Such guidelines would be relevant if governments reconsider their climate commitments under the Paris Agreement and a new round of «national contributions» is expected in 2020. The WEO, Denning explains, is like «a map used by people, businesses and institutions that plan and build roads. If its scenarios show some path, appropriate investments are made in power plants, pipelines, oil and gas deposits, facts on the ground, with a lifespan of several decades. Starting in 2019, we still have a decade to fundamentally transform our energy system to align with climate security.
To remain relevant, the IEA must begin to develop and prioritize robust scenarios that show policy makers how to meet the monumental challenge ahead and achieve the overall goal of climate goals. If the IEA cannot do this, it cannot be seen as a consultant for international energy as useful – those who use WEO scenarios to make energy decisions risk investing in a climate disaster. «The IEA`s sustainable development scenario provides a way to achieve different climate, air quality and universal access goals in an integrated way. In this scenario, global energy-related CO2 emissions peak around 2020, then they enter a steep and continuous fall, fully in line with the path forward to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. World Energy Outlook 2018 In another WEO special report in 2015, this scenario proposed a transition strategy based on five specific energy sector measures to achieve an early peak in energy-related CO2 emissions. This scenario, developed in 2017, represents an emissions trajectory for CO2 emissions from the «net zero» energy sector in 2060, resulting in lower emissions than SDS in 2040. In this scenario, we will adopt strategies that put the world on a path that is in line with a probability of about 50% of the long-term increase in the average global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Instead, the IEA again proposes that we reconcile the SDS as «entirely» with the Paris objectives. But the SDS doesn`t match that. According to the IEA, the SDS has a 66% chance of limiting warming to 1.8oC. The SDS is not a scenario at 1.5oC.
(By comparison, the CPS is mentioned 340 times in the 2010 WEO, compared to 981 uses of the then central NPS and 745 mentions of the «450 scenario.») Basically, the IEA uses fallacious scenarios – ignoring the temperature overruns and sustainable development risks highlighted by the IPCC – to give the impression that the SDS is more ambitious and more preventative than in reality.