In his latest outlook (here is the link) the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that global demand for fossil fuels will reach its peak in the next 15 years. This is the definition of a figure that has so far been vague, and above all it marks an acceleration: the IEA attributes this shift towards alternative energy sources largely to conflict in Ukraine.
Put simply: even if our efforts to replace fossil fuels do not improve, demand will begin to decline in a few years. That of gas will stabilize by 2030, that of oil will stabilize by 2035.
It is the first time that IEA analysts "see" a decline in demand for fossil fuels in all future scenarios, even with only the policies currently in place.
Fossil fuels, after the peak an inevitable end
It is a passage that will mark a new era in the world. Exceeding the peak means decoupling the GDP from the consumption of fossil fuels. Something that hasn't happened since the industrial revolution. This is rather important news: on the economic level it represents a total reversal.
What about global emissions from the energy sector? According to the document, are expected to peak around 2025: this is (finally) good news for the climate. The war in Ukraine has caused turmoil in global energy markets, but at least it will "force" part of the planet to focus on alternative, low-carbon sources.
Read such as those US accelerating the launch of wind and solar, or like the fit for 55 Europe that pushes the spread of electric vehicles, heat pumps and renewable energy will change energy policies forever.
A historic and definitive change, but we need to rush
In all the scenarios of the IEA, as mentioned, the demand for fossil fuels stabilizes. And it does so as nations host more electric cars and rely on renewable energy, nuclear and other low-carbon technologies for heat and electricity.
Yes, the demand for fossil fuels will drop even with current policies. As the share of electric cars, renewables, nuclear and other low-emission technologies increases, the share of fossil fuels in the global energy mix is expected to drop from around 80% today to just over 60% by mid-century. But it would be too slow a descent to avoid climate disaster.
For this reason, if on the one hand we can be sure that the planet is going in the direction of renewables, and it does so forever, on the other hand it needs to do so quickly. The latest UN assessments say that by the end of the century the world it will be as warm as 2,5 ° C. Other than 1,5 ° C (we can just forget that: in the best scenario we will remain "warmer" by 1,7 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels).
It is a level that poses a serious threat to the stability of ecological systems. That's the worst peak we need to worry about.