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The International Energy Agency has just released its big annual report on global energy trends in coming decades, including projections on energy demand, carbon emissions and changes in the global energy mix between now and 2040.

Key takeaways

Under the IEA's New Policies scenario, which models existing and officially announced policies worldwide, total global energy demand rises more slowly than in the past but still increases by 30 percent between now and 2040.

Climate change: Global carbon emissions from energy (which is the main source) increase slightly between now and 2040 in the New Policies model.

  • Why it matters: It shows that absent more aggressive efforts to curb greenhouse gases, the world will fail badly to achieve the steep emissions cuts needed to hold the eventual rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees celsius above preindustrial levels—the goal of the Paris agreement to avoid some of the most dangerous climatic changes.

Evolving mix: Check out the chart below, which provides an interesting snapshot of seismic shifts in the global energy dynamics underway. It depicts how the sources of emissions growth are changing as coal demand flatlines but use of oil and natural gas rises.

Expand chart
Data: IEA World Energy Outlook 2017, OECD/IEA; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
A few more topline conclusions

No oil peak: Global demand for oil keeps rising in the New Policies scenario, albeit slowing down after the mid-2020s, reaching almost 105 million barrels per day in 2040.

  • Greater auto efficiency and the rise of electric vehicles is more than offset by oil demand from petrochemical production, trucking, aviation and shipping.

Renewables rise: Renewables meet 40 percent of the growth of energy demand, signaling the huge changes underway in the electricity sector as gas, wind, and solar have gained as coal stagnates.

Alternate future: The report also includes a "Sustainable Development Scenario," which is an energy future that meets the climate goals of the Paris agreement, as well as providing universal access to "modern" energy by 2030 and other goals.

Features of this pathway include . . .

  • Power generation is "all but decarbonized" by 2040, with renewables at over 60 percent of worldwide generation (and together with gas accounting for over 80 percent), nuclear at 15 percent, and carbon capture and storage from fossil generation playing a role.
  • On the transportation side, one feature of this scenario is that the electric car penetration rises to roughly 875 million cars worldwide by 2040, are there are "much more stringent efficiency measures across the board, notably for road freight."

Go deeper

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the federal government's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Antony Blinken. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.

1 hour ago - World

Former Google CEO and others call for U.S.-China tech "bifurcation"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new set of proposals by a group of influential D.C. insiders and tech industry practitioners calling for a degree of "bifurcation" in the U.S. and Chinese tech sectors is circulating in the Biden administration. Axios has obtained a copy.

Why it matters: The idea of "decoupling" certain sectors of the U.S. and Chinese economies felt radical three years ago, when Trump's trade war brought the term into common parlance. But now the strategy has growing bipartisan and even industry support.