The fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic is set to significantly reduce global long-term energy demand, according to new research by DNV GL.
The energy risk management firm’s new Energy Transition Outlook claims the behavioural and economic ramifications of the virus will see a decline in demand of 8% worldwide.
It also forecasts that CO2 emissions have “likely” already peaked in 2019 as a result of the outbreak.
But the report adds that the energy transition is still “nowhere near fast enough” to meet the Paris agreement of net-zero emissions by 2050.
Remi Eriksen, group president and chief executive of DNV GL, said: “We are still at a critical junction.
“We basically have the technologies to deliver on the Paris ambition, but we need smarter policies to scale these technologies much faster.
“Covid-19 has caused enormous human suffering, but has at the same time shown us that measures can be implemented fast at scale.
“This is an opportunity that cannot go to waste.
“Governments and international regulatory institutions must take this opportunity to make a lasting impact on decarbonization.”
DNV GL claim an anticipated plateauing of oil demand and the rapid decline of coal saw a peak in emissions last year.
Despite this, the firm claims that even with flat energy demand through to 2050, the energy transition is still nowhere near fast enough to deliver on the Paris ambition of keeping global warming well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
To reach the 1.5-degree target, DNV GL claims, the world would need to repeat the decline in emissions in 2020 every year from now on.
Mr Eriksen added: “The depth of the climate crisis is immense, but we have all the tools to prevent unsustainable global warming.
“Companies and governments must act now.
“Now more than ever we need technology and the scaling of technology to accelerate the uptake of renewables, energy efficiency measures as well as the deployment of industrial scale carbon capture and storage, and the use of alternative fuels.”