Wind power generation and shoal aquaculture are seen at the Coastal Shoal Industry Demonstration Base in Yancheng City, east China’s Jiangsu Province, May 16, 2023. (Photo credit to Lu Hongjie/CFOTO/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Lu Hongjie | Future Publishing | Getty Images
The world’s energy system is no longer “fit for purpose”, according to World Energy Council chief executive Angela Wilkinson, who hit out at the lackluster push for a planned green energy transition.
“The latest pulse from April shows that the world’s energy system is no longer fit for purpose,” Wilkinson told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Wednesday, referring to findings from her organization’s Energy Pulse reports, which offer a snapshot of energy trends. ecosystem.
The council’s latest report predicts that around half of the global energy system will still not be electrified by 2050, which would dealing a blow to many governments’ net zero promises.
“The concern of most energy leaders is [that] the pace of change is too slow to keep us on track The Paris AgreementThe report said 64% of global energy leaders shared their concerns.
World governments agreed in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels, and to aim to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The slow pace of the planned energy transition can be attributed to stress on energy capacity and security even before the coronavirus pandemic, Wilkinson said.
Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, global energy markets have also been hit by a series of setbacks: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe’s decision to divest from Russian hydrocarbons, and a looming global recession. Which caused the energy markets and the global system to fall into a delicate balance.
“We are trying to grow [and] build a dual energy system to meet demand, [and] while decarbonizing the energy system faster than ever before,” Wilkinson told CNBC.
The planned path to net zero was supported by a number of toolkits aimed at shifting the energy mix away from fossil fuels towards zero or low emission energy sources. One approach is to adopt carbon taxes, a fee imposed on greenhouse gas producers for every ton of carbon they emit.
Forty six countries they value emissions using carbon taxes or other emissions trading programs, according to last year’s International Monetary Fund data.
“A global carbon tax would simply be unmanageable,” Wilkinson said. “There is no such thing as a true market price for energy or a true market price for carbon because you have subsidies, you have regulations, you have very uneven economies and playing fields.”
The importance of the tax lies in its price signaling mechanism for investors and consumers, she added. “There is a carbon cost that companies have to bear … so the signal is important.”