EcoBeat Staff – Emissions from energy production account for nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gases being released into the environment. Projections from the United Nations Development Program anticipate 6-8 billion additional energy consumers by the year 2100, further complicating plans for countries around the globe to curb their emissions to meet climate goals while simultaneously providing energy for their economies to grow.
In the wake of these global challenges, the International Energy Agency (IEA), an “autonomous organization which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy,” released a special edition of their annual World Energy Outlook 2015 (WEO) report. Titled, “The WEO 2015 Special Report on Energy and Climate Change,” the report attempts to influence the international climate negotiations leading in to the COP21 meeting in Paris this fall by setting fourth new strategies to peak energy-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Five specific recommendations were made ahead of the international meeting, including:
- Increasing energy efficiency in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors
- Progressively reducing the use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction.
- Increasing investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2020.
- Gradual phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030.
- Reducing methane emissions in oil and gas production.
To give a little perspective on this, it was a huge deal when President Obama of the U.S. and President Xi Jinping of China announced a deal last year that would have China’s emissions peak around 2030. The IEA calls for China and other developing economies to peak 10 years sooner than that in order to make a significant enough impact to avoid a 2 degree-celsius rise in Earth’s temperature (the point at which the climate will have changed so significantly that we literally can’t predict the consequences).
Let’s hope world leaders were listening when the report was released on June 15.
For the full report, click HERE.