A paradigm shift could arrive long before 2035. After President Trump announced his intent to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement, other countries, US states, cities and global corporations reaffirmed their commitment to curtailing emissions growth.
Meanwhile, momentum is building within business to adapt to a changing world. Dormant for a decade, carbon has resurfaced as a critical concern in the boardrooms around the world. The downturn spurred the majors into focusing on renewables to build diversity and optionality into portfolios and best position themselves in today's radically different energy landscape.
While we consider the Paris Agreement's 2° C world impossible to achieve given current technology, pressure to do more — for governments and energy companies alike —would lead to a future that's much closer to our carbon-constrained scenario than many would expect. Through consistent changes in consumer preferences and carbon policies, renewables and other low-carbon technologies could radically disrupt the energy landscape far sooner than expected.
This research was prepared in partnership with Greentech Media, a Wood Mackenzie Business, the premier market intelligence provider for the decarbonisation and decentralisation of energy.
Find out more about peak oil demand
The market used to worry about peak oil supply. Now the focus has shifted. With the world now considering a structural decline in oil demand, which sectors will feel the greatest impact? Read our latest report, The rise and fall of black gold: when will peak oil demand strike?