January 12, 2023 – The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released a report on Thursday stating that if countries around the world meet their climate commitments, employment related to clean energy technologies will jump from 6 million to 14 million in the beginning of next decade.
The executive director of the IEA, Fatih Birol, said that if all commitments are met, clean energy technology investment would be two-thirds of what is required to achieve net-zero emissions globally. However, he said that only 25% of announced solar projects, 35% of battery projects for electric vehicles and 10% of electrolyzers projects have been built or will be built soon.
Birol noted that the world would benefit from more diversified clean technology supply chains to avoid risks of relying too much on a single company or country. He used the example of Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, pointing out that “when you depend too much on a company, a country or a trade route, you run the risk of paying a high price in case of interruption.”
The report also warns that resource extraction and processing, as well as manufacturing related to clean energy technologies, is mostly concentrated in China. It mentioned that three producing countries – including China – control 70% of the world’s manufacturing capabilities for solar panels, wind generators, vehicle batteries, electrolyzers and heat pumps. The Democratic Republic of Congo produces more than 70% of the world’s cobalt, with Australia, Chile and China controlling over 90% of the world’s lithium production.
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