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Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard: Increased fossil fuel use put brakes on zero emission commitments

07/24/2019

National zero emission commitments stand in contrast to the sharp growth in energy produced by fossil fuels, Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard has found.

Although the UK and France both passed into law net zero emission objectives in June[1], the dashboard found that tangible action is lagging.

Global energy generated by fossil fuels has grown by 2.5%[2], representing an absolute increase more than twice as large as growth from other sources of energy combined. This offset the 15% rise in energy produced from renewable sources last year.

The net result of renewable energy growth and increased fossil fuel use is that the dashboard’s predicted long-run temperature rise remains at 3.8°C, unchanged from the previous quarter.

The Climate Progress Dashboard - launched in 2017 - has given Schroders’ analysts, fund managers and clients an insight into the progress governments and industries are making towards meeting the 2°C temperature rise target set by the Paris Agreement in 2015.

Some 16% of global Gross Domestic Product[3] is now covered by net zero emissions targets, while Schroders has also identified that climate change press reporting is at its highest level since the Paris Agreement.

But analysis shows that despite the positive headlines and recent moves by the UK and France, the world’s wealthiest economies still need to do more to tackle climate change, compared to their less affluent counterparts[4].

Furthermore, while global renewable energy capacity has almost doubled since 2010 – equating to roughly one-third of new power capacity over the same period - this gain has been overwhelmed by slowing improvements in the energy intensity of the global economy.

Andrew Howard, Head of Sustainable Research at Schroders, said:

“Headlines heralding toughening national policies and rising clean energy may paint a positive picture but our analysis underlines the importance of an evidence-based view of the trajectory of climate action.

“For example, while the global energy system is decarbonising, rising demand for energy more than offset the benefits.

“More positively, climate change has been attracting growing interest from the news media. That coverage has an increasingly urgent tone, reflecting growing recognition of the scale of the problem and the closing window to limit the long term impacts of rising temperatures.” 

Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard key:

Schroders Climate Progress Dashboard:

[1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-energy/france-sets-2050-carbon-neutral-target-with-new-law-idUSKCN1TS30B and https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-becomes-first-major-economy-to-pass-net-zero-emissions-law

[2] BP Statistical Review of World Energy

[3] Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit - https://eciu.net/

[4] https://climateactiontracker.org/

 

For further information, please contact:

Estelle Bibby, Head of Media Relations +44 20 7658 3431/Estelle.Bibby@Schroders.com

Andy Pearce, PR Manager  +44 20 7658 2203/Andy.Pearce@Schroders.com

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