The 2020 edition of the bp Energy Outlook explores possible paths for the global energy transition, how global energy markets may evolve over the next 30 years and the key uncertainties that may shape them. Looking out to 2050 – a decade further than in previous editions – the Outlook is focused around three main scenarios. These are not predictions but, based on alternative assumptions about policies and societal preferences, are designed to help explore the range of outcomes possible over the next 30 years.
The Rapid scenario assumes the introduction of policy measures, led by a significant increase in carbon prices, that result in carbon emissions from energy use falling by around 70 per cent by 2050 from 2018 levels. Rapid is broadly in line with scenarios that are consistent with limiting the rise in global temperatures by 2100 to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
The Net Zero scenario assumes the policy measures of Rapid are reinforced by significant shifts in societal and consumer behaviour and preferences – such as greater adoption of circular and sharing economies and switching to low carbon energy sources. This increases the reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 to over 95 per cent. Net Zero is broadly in line with a range of scenarios consistent with limiting temperature rises to 1.5°C.
Finally, the Business-as-usual (BAU) scenario assumes that government policies, technologies and societal preferences continue to evolve in a manner and speed seen in the recent past. In BAU, carbon emissions from energy use peak in the mid-2020s but do not decline significantly, with emissions in 2050 less than 10 per cent below 2018 levels.
Read the full report here.