• The IEA has identified 11 lifestyle changes we can all make today to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050:
  • Don’t drive if you could walk or cycle instead.
  • Keep air travel for long-distance trips.
  • Shave 7km/h off your driving speed.

Slow down if you want to help the climate. That’s one of the conclusions of the World Energy Outlook 2020 report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The report looks at the work being done around the world to hit net-zero emissions goals by 2050. Action taken over the next 10 years will have a major bearing on whether those goals are met, the report says.

One of the milestones for achieving net-zero by 2050 will be a 45% drop in CO2 (from levels seen in 2010) by 2030.

That calls for changes in everyday attitudes and behaviour, particularly in relation to travel.

Impact of behaviour changes on CO2 emissions in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Case, 2021-2030
These changes could have a big impact.
Image: IEA

The report’s authors focus on 11 separate activities. They include how we heat our homes and workplaces, how we drive and the air travel we opt for.

Driving more slowly is one of the measures that many people can adopt in order to do their bit for the environment. The report says that reducing speeds by 7km/h can help.

It also suggests replacing short car journeys – less than 3km – with walking or cycling. Similarly, the report says that flights of less than an hour’s duration could be replaced by lower-emission alternatives.

Taken together, those suggestions could help “reduce transport sector CO2 emissions by more than 20%,” the IEA says.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

Contact us to get involved.