OPINION: DNV’s 2021 Energy Transition Outlook was the latest influential report to conclude that time is running out for the world to act if it is going to have any realistic change of meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate change goals.

DNV found that governments have just missed a golden opportunity to accelerate the pace of the energy transition when they spent trillions of dollars trying to stimulate the global economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The 2021 ETO came hot on the heels of the stark warnings in the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, which Tengku Muhammad Taufik — chief executive of Malaysia’s Petronas — described this week as “not pleasant reading for human beings, let alone a CEO of a Fortune 500 company”.

The Paris-headquartered International Energy Agency had already warned that the pledges by governments to date, even if fully achieved, “fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 and give the world an even chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius”.

Sadly, it seems that despite a collective will from many governments, industry and other stakeholders, a lack of scale, plus the cost of much of the technology required to slow global warming, is still proving too great a challenge.

DNV reckons that just 3.6% of fossil fuels’ CO2 emissions will be abated in 2050 despite the carbon capture and storage projects already being rolled out.

While more needs to be done — and fast — to tackle climate change, the question remains: who is going to fund it, and how?

(This is an Upstream opinion article)