100% clean, affordable energy possible by 2050 says WWF
Brussels, Belgium: The Energy Report launched by WWF and Ecofys today, highlights that all of the world’s energy needs could be provided in a clean, renewable and economic way by 2050. Released just ahead of the EU Council tomorrow dedicated to energy and innovation, the new study states that energy efficiency is a key element in achieving a secure, sustainable and renewable energy future. This is what EU leaders must focus their attention on when discussing critical issues like energy security.
“We cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels, or we will face a future riddled with high energy costs, low energy security and devastating climate change impacts,” says Tony Long, Director of WWF's European Policy Office. “European leaders have to concentrate their efforts in implementing already available solutions to deliver the massive energy savings required to unlock the potential for 100% renewable energy – the challenge is rolling them out at a European and global level”.
The Energy Report scenario sees CO2 emissions from the world’s energy supply sector reduced by over 80 per cent by 2050 – helping limit global temperature rise to less than two degrees Celsius. Half of the effort can be met through energy efficiency. The greatest opportunity to reduce emissions, cut spending, create jobs and get us to our 2050 goal is through energy savings in buildings, vehicles and industry. “Europe has an indicative 20% savings target by 2020 but it is far off track. This objective needs to be made mandatory, and be accompanied by an effective framework of measures and funding”, says Long.
Another essential element for enabling European decarbonisation is a modernised infrastructure. “Rational use of energy, renewable generation, electrification, and grid integration with smart management can work together to decarbonise Europe” continues Long.
Providing reliable, affordable and clean energy on the scale required will need a global effort, but the benefits will be much greater in the long term, with the savings from lower energy costs outweighing total new investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2040. Savings compared to a “Business-As-Usual” scenario amount to around €4 trillion from lower energy costs alone by 2050.
Other benefits include avoiding energy security conflicts, environmental disasters and supply disruptions that are inherent in sourcing ever scarcer fossil fuels from more and more politically or environmentally challenging areas.
“We must adapt to a changing world - one in which an efficient and downward use of resources is critical to our continued security and survival. The European Commission's Resource Efficiency flagship initiative launched last week is a start in the right direction. But WWF's Energy Vision shows this is only a beginning and much bigger changes across all policy areas and the ways we source and manage our energy will be needed”, concludes Long.
For further information:
WWF’s Energy Report
Dr Stephan Singer, Director, Global Energy Policy, WWF International, Tel: +32 496 550 709, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
EU Council on 4th February
Tony Long, Director, WWF European Policy Office, Mob. +32 (0)497 293 656, email: email@example.com
Communications / media relations
Alexandra Bennett, Communication Director, WWF European Policy Office,
Tel. +32 (0)2 740 0925, Mob: +32 (0)477 393 400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org