Unless governments act quickly to meet climate targets, global oil demand will return to pre pandemic levels in two years and reach a record high in 2026, according to the International Energy Agency.
The oil market and the world economy are recovering from a massive collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the IEA said in an annual report.
As people are vaccinated and restrictions lifted, demand will return to 2019 levels by 2023, the report said.
IEA's five-year forecast estimates that global demand will grow annually to 104 million barrels per day by 2026, an increase of 4% over 2019.
However, the outlook for demand has declined as the epidemic has forced people to change their behavior and home work and travel have declined.
More governments are also focusing on the potential "sustainable recovery" to move quickly towards a low-carbon future. The report said that "if governments adhere to strong policies to accelerate the shift to clean energy", oil demand will peak faster than expected.
Fatih Birol, executive director of IEA, said: "achieving an orderly oil transition is crucial to achieving climate goals, but it requires major policy changes and accelerated behavioral changes by governments. Otherwise, global oil demand will increase every year between now and 2026. "
"In order for global oil demand to peak in the short term, significant immediate actions are needed to improve fuel efficiency standards, promote sales of electric vehicles, and curb oil use in the power industry."
According to the agency's basic vision, Asia is expected to lead the new growth of global demand and account for 90% of the growth from 2019 to 2026.
"By contrast, many developed economies have much higher car ownership and per capita oil use, and their demand is not expected to return to pre crisis levels," the IEA said
If fuel efficiency standards are improved, sales of electric vehicles increase, the power industry uses less energy, people work more from home, and business travel does not improve, things could change dramatically.
Overall, by 2026, oil consumption will be reduced by up to 5.6 million B / D, which means that global oil demand will never return to pre pandemic levels.
"No oil and gas company is unaffected by the clean energy transformation, so as the global momentum to promote net zero emissions continues to increase, all industries need to consider how to deal with it," Birol said