• Asian countries hold key to meeting net-zero by 2050 targets, but have more immediate energy priorities for now

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Delegates at an International Petroleum Week conference in London late last month heard that Asian countries will be essential in the effort to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. More than 50% of the growth in energy demand to 2050 is expected to come from the region, and presently, net-zero targets are not at the forefront of policymakers’ minds. Instead, access to electricity, reducing air pollution, and introducing means of clean cooking are the priorities, some of which match with lowering carbon emissions, and some not currently matching precisely. As Petroleum Economist reports, many Asian economies see coal as playing an important role in their energy futures, with China, for example, expecting the solid fuel to contribute around a third of energy demand by 2050, and India 40%. With this in mind, Leena Srivastava, deputy director general for science at the Indian research institute IIASA, told the conference that the “onus should be on the developed countries to provide solutions for climate change. If adequate action had been taken by the developed world, we would still have time [to meet climate goals]”. If net-zero targets are to be met by 2050, installations of carbon capture and storage will be a requirement across Asian coal-fired power plants.