It is generally accepted that population and world economies will continue to grow, and that measures to address the risks of climate change should accommodate these factors. Therefore, across any reasonable range of pathways, two other factors remain critical to limiting CO2 emissions:
- Reducing the energy intensity of economies (i.e., being more energy efficient), and
- Reducing the CO2 emissions intensity of the global energy mix.
In this regard, the chart above illustrates the gains expected for both parameters under the Assessed 2oC Scenarios from 2010 to 2100, along with ExxonMobil’s 2018 Outlook for 2010 to 2040. The Outlook projects progress on both parameters to 2040, with generally greater progress on energy intensity gains compared to the other pathways.
These pathways imply that two things must happen. First, countries need to be more efficient in how they use energy (left axis)… and second, they need to use energies or technologies that reduce CO2 emissions for every unit of energy they use (bottom axis).