Technology alone cannot solve climate crisis, warns ING

World set to miss 2030 climate targets as new clean technologies take time to scale, warns ING

Technology could reduce today’s global energy-related CO2 emissions by 64 per cent by 2050, but effective policies are urgently needed to ensure unintended climate impacts are avoided, new research by Dutch bank ING concludes.

However, the report, published on Wednesday, asserts that medium-term Paris Agreement targets for 2030 are likely to be missed, as it will take time for new technologies to be implemented at scale.

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Energy efficiency, renewables, and electrification will be crucial for driving the decarbonisation of the global economy, the report states, calculating that they could help cut annual energy-related CO2 emissions from 33 gigatonnes today to around 12 gigatonnes by 2050 – a reduction of 64 per cent.

But though it argues technology can play a key role in meeting 2050 climate goals, ING warns of an “overly optimistic belief that technology can provide all of the solutions to climate change”, and suggests the planet is likely to be behind schedule with its decarbonisation efforts in 2030.

The report comes in the same week as both the IEA and a group of leading academics warned global greenhouse gas emissions are rising again, following a three year hiatus.

A low carbon economy is “feasible” in the long-term, ING maintains, but technologies such as renewable energy, carbon capture and storage (CCS), electric vehicles, greater energy efficiency, low carbon heating will take time to scale before they can have a sizeable impact on global emissions trajectories.

The report offers a

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