New Delhi: After a record fall, the rise in global gas demand by 3.6% this year and up to 7% by 2024 may put the world off track in achieving net-zero emissions targets by 2050, a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.
More than 190 countries (including India) have signed the Paris agreement to combat climate change by reducing global warming and limiting greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 with a huge reduction in the use of fossil fuels such as coal and gas.
“Natural gas demand is set to rebound strongly in 2021 and will keep rising further if governments do not implement strong policies to move the world onto a path towards net-zero emissions by mid-century,” the IEA said in its latest quarterly Gas Market Report.
According to the report, “Global gas demand is expected to rise by 3.6% in 2021 before easing to an average growth rate of 1.7% over the following three years.”
“By 2024, demand is forecast to be up 7% from 2019’s pre-Covid levels,” it said.
“The rebound in gas demand shows that the global economy is recovering from the shock of the pandemic and that gas is continuing to replace more emissions-intensive fuels,” said Keisuke Sadamori, the IEA’s Director of Energy Markets and Security.
“But stronger policies need to be implemented to put global gas demand on a path in line with reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 while still fostering economic prosperity,” he said.
These include measures to ensure gas is used more efficiently. At the same time, the gas industry needs to significantly step up efforts to shift to cleaner and low-carbon gases – and to act quickly and effectively to address needless methane emissions, he said.
Almost half of the increase in gas demand between 2020 and 2024 comes from the Asia Pacific region, the report said.
Despite slower growth in the coming years, gas demand by 2024 is trending higher than the trajectories in the IEA’s climate-driven scenarios, notably the pathway set out recent.