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Last Updated : Nov 14, 2018 04:31 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

This is why electric cars may not reduce air pollution

Electrification of vehicles will have to be part of a comprehensive package of policies promoting energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector

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In the Paris climate accord of 2015, countries including India pledged to reduce their carbon footprint and curb emissions. This drove many countries towards electric vehicles and replacing fossil fuel-supported vehicles.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), electric cars may not reduce pollution. In a report, the agency said any reduction in emissions due to electric vehicles will be offset by increased use of power plants to charge them, which paints a different picture for energy use in the future, according to a Bloomberg report.

Electrification of vehicles will have to be part of a comprehensive package of policies promoting energy efficiency and to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector. This would help reduce harmful pollution significantly by 2040.

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The United Nations recently called for a $2.4 trillion investment from all countries in clean energy to prevent irreparable damage to the world. This sent nations in a frenzy to cut emissions and achieve their targets set in the Paris Agreement.

"Electrification is a necessary part of deep decarbonisation because it is relatively easy to decarbonise the power sector. However, it will only help if the power sector moves rapidly towards zero emissions," Lauri Myllyvirta, a senior analyst at Greenpeace’s air pollution unit, said.

Carbon emissions have grown in the past two decades and coal-fired plants were the biggest contributors, according to the IEA. Growth in electricity through renewable resources has slowed the process to an extent.

Global carbon dioxide output rose a percent last year and the agency expects it to reach an all-time high this year.

Electrification is moving at a brisk pace due to government policies to electrify mobility. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy now account for 6 percent electricity generation today as compared to 0.2 percent in 2000. Investment in the power sector was higher than the oil and gas investment in 2017 for the second time in a row.

Asia is a major influence on the world’s energy market, according to the report. It makes up 60 percent of the increase in wind and solar capacity.

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First Published on Nov 14, 2018 04:31 pm
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