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Major changes needed to reach 2050 net zero emissions: IEA

Major changes needed to reach 2050 net zero emissions: IEA

Sales of new combustion engine cars should be stopped by 2035, agency says

LONDON (Reuters) -- The window of opportunity for reaching net zero emissions by mid-century is narrowing unless the world radically changes the way energy is produced, used and transported, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday.

A global climate pact agreed in 2015 to cap the rise in temperatures to as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, which requires achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The number of countries which have pledged to reach net zero has grown, but even if their commitments are fully achieved, there will still be 22 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide worldwide in 2050 which would lead to temperature rise of around 2.1C by 2100, the IEA said in its "Net Zero by 2050" report.

The report is intended to guide the next round of global climate talks which will take place in November in Scotland.

It sets out more than 400 milestones to achieving net zero, including no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects from now on and no further final investment decisions on new coal plants which don't have carbon capture technology.

"The pathway to net zero is narrow but still achievable. If we want to reach net zero by 2050 we do not need any more investments in new oil, gas and coal projects," Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, told Reuters.

Scientists have long said that unprecedented changes are needed in the way people use energy to live or we risk even more extreme weather and loss of species.

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