The present energy trajectory indicates increasing energy-related CO2 emissions through
to 2035. By contrast, to meet the requirements of the 450 Scenario, emissions need to
peak by 2020 and decline...
to around 22 Gt in 2035 - around 30% lower than in 2011, a
level last seen in the mid-1990s (Figure 1.16). The cumulative "emissions gap" between
the scenarios over the projection period is around 156 Gt, an amount greater than that
emitted by the United States over the last 25 years. Such a path of declining emissions
demands unprecedented change. The 450 Scenario shows how it could be achieved, based
on policies and technologies that are already known, but, crucially, it requires urgent
commitment to strong action, followed by robust, unwavering implementation. If the
450 Scenario trajectory is successfully followed, by 2035, non-OECD countries will have
achieved more than 70% of the total reduction (10.5 Gt) in annual CO2 emissions in the
450 Scenario, compared with the New Policies Scenario.
In both scenarios considered here, GDP growth averages 3.1% per year and population
growth averages 0.9%, pushing total primary energy demand higher- but this demand
is met increasingly from low or zero-carbon sources. To be consistent with the required
trajectory in the 450 Scenario, energy-related CO2 emissions must begin to decline this
decade, even though the level of energy demand is expected to increase by 0.5% per year,
on average: CO2 emissions peak by 2020 and then decline by 2.4% per year on average until
2035. Looking across the fossil fuels, gas demand increases by 0.7% per year on average,
oil decreases by 0.5% per year and coal declines by 1.8% per year. Energy effciency policies
are the most important near-term emissions mitigation measure (see Chapter 2 for more
on ways to save CO2 in the short term). By 2035, actions to improve energy efficiency
successfully reduce global emissions in that year by 6.4 Gt - equivalent to about 20%
of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2011. The payback periods for many energy
efficiency investments are short, but non-technical barriers often remain a major obstacle.
It is these barriers that governments need to tackle (see WEO-2012 and Chapter 2).
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