Oil demand to reach record by 2026: IEA
Global oil demand will return to pre-pandemic levels in two years and reach record heights by 2026 unless governments take swift action to meet climate goals, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday.
As people get vaccinated and restrictions are lifted, demand will return to its 2019 level by 2023, according to the report.
The outlook for demand, however, has shifted lower as the pandemic has forced changes in behaviour, with people working from home and travelling less, the report said.
More governments are also focusing on a potential "sustainable recovery" to move quickly towards a low-carbon future.
"Achieving an orderly transition away from oil is essential to meet climate goals, but it will require major policy changes from governments as well as accelerated behavioural changes," Birol said.
Asia is expected to lead renewed growth in global demand and account for 90 percent of the increase from 2019 to 2026, according to the agency's base scenario.
If fuel efficiency standards are improved, electric vehicle sales take off, the power sector uses less energy, people recycle and work from home more and business travel fails to pick up, the picture could change dramatically.
Birol said: "No oil and gas company will be unaffected by clean energy transitions, so every part of the industry needs to consider how to respond as momentum builds behind the world's drive for net-zero emissions."