Annual greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels between 2010 to 2019, since then the increase has slowed slightly. However, there is still a long way to go in reducing our emissions. Without immediate and drastic emission reductions across all industries, limiting global warming to 1.5°C will remain a distant target. We are seeing more and more countries, companies, and individuals engaging in climate action and doing their bit for the planet.
Energy efficiency has improved since 2010 through increased policies and an 85% reduction in the cost of solar and wind energy. Transitions to a sustainable and renewable world are taking, they just need to be taking place on a greater scale. We have the tools to secure a liveable future, we need to make the decisions required to implement them. If we scale up and apply these existing solutions more widely, substantial emissions reductions will be achievable while stimulating innovation.
The Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group III report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of climate change was published in April of this year. Within the report, the IPCC stated that there are options in all sectors to at least halve emissions by 2030. Climate change can bring about opportunities within sectors, we need to take advantage of these as we strive for a sustainable future. The energy sector in particular requires major transitions, primarily away from the use of fossil fuels and towards renewable and efficient alternatives. The IPCC Working Group III Co-Chair Priyadarshi Shukla stated that a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 40-70% is possible by 2050 if we enable these transitions and changes to take place.
Zero-carbon or zero energy buildings are present in nearly every city, the mitigation potential of buildings needs to be captured. Cities offer significant emission reduction opportunities from electrification of transport to enhanced carbon uptake. We live in a throwaway society; we need to revaluate how we use materials to improve their efficiency. This involves increased recycling and reusing to minimise waste and the volume of products we need to produce.
The IPCC stated that global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by latest 2025 and then reduce by nearly half at 48% by 2030. Methane also needs to simultaneously reduce by approximately a third within that time frame. Despite reductions, we will most likely exceed 1.5°C, however, we can reduce it by the end of the century. We need to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally by 2050 to stabilise the global temperature.
Accelerating climate action and ensuring it is equitable will help us achieve the sustainable development goals. We need to focus on solutions that benefit communities while reducing the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. For example, our Climate Wise projects support sustainable development at a local scale while working to reduce global emissions. A fairer and more sustainable world is possible, we need to take action that moves us towards it and secures it.