A recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggests the dependence on energy sources derived from crude oil will continue to increase until the 2030s and emissions contributing to global climate change could also rise until 2040. The IEA cites the increasing demand for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) as the main contributor to vehicle-based emissions.
The United States, China, and Europe have displayed a growing hunger for SUVs, and it is directly contributing to the environmental issues according to the IEA’s annual long-term forecast report, the AP says. The IEA suggested governments in these areas need to display “strong leadership” to reduce carbon emissions from SUVs in an attempt to save the environment.
Perhaps the most frightening part of the IEA report was the idea that the growing demand for SUVs could completely eliminate any environmental benefits from the increasing popularity of electric cars. As the industry for battery-operated vehicles continues to grow across the world, the IEA feels the current investment in renewable energy is “insufficient,” as the estimated global demand of barrels of oil per day until 2040 is expected to increase from 96.9 million in 2018, to 106.4 million in 2040.
IEA director Fatih Birol stated SUVs “were the second biggest cause of the increase in emissions in the last 10 years, behind the energy sector and more than all industrial sectors combined,” during an interview in Paris, France. According to industry reports, SUVs and pickup trucks made up about two-thirds of vehicle sales in the U.S., and one-third in Europe, but 42% of all vehicle sales worldwide in 2018 were SUVs.
Electric vehicle companies like Tesla have made significant strides in the fight against emissions from petrol-based vehicles. With Tesla’s Model X, along with the imminent release of the Model Y crossover, the company will now be able to offer those interested in purchasing an SUV two different vehicles that offer maximum cargo space in an energy-efficient manner.
Fellow all-electric car maker Rivian will also begin producing its energy-efficient R1T truck and R1S SUV in late-2020 and early-2021. Electric vehicles produced by these two companies will rival their gas-powered counterparts, allowing for record amounts of towing capacity, range, and off-roading capabilities. Big oil has stated its discontent with electric vehicles in the past, stating they are not the solution to the world’s environmental issues.
The IEA also recognizes the growing demand for plastic and air travel as two other factors directly contributing to the report’s main point of the growing oil demand. “The world urgently needs to put a laser-like focus on bringing down global emissions. This calls for a grand coalition encompassing governments, investors, companies and everyone else who is committed to tackling climate change,” Birol said.
The importance of identifying and eliminating the issue of carbon emissions is extremely important to the future of the climate. Elon Musk’s mission behind creating a vehicle that emits no carbon emissions has been the main goal since Tesla was created in 2004. “We’re running the most dangerous experiment in history right now, which is to see how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere can handle before there is an environmental catastrophe,” Musk said in 2013. The ever-growing environmental movement has been highlighted by increasingly prevalent activism from people like Greta Thunberg. However, it will take more than environmental activists to implement change.