Much stronger action, including the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, is needed to transform the global energy system, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Launching its annual World Energy Outlook (WEO) report yesterday, the IEA warns that the Copenhagen Accord and policies adopted by governments around the globe are not enough to limit temperature increases through climate change by 2°C.
“The Copenhagen Accord and the agreement among G20 countries to phase out subsidies are important steps forward,” says executive director Nobuo Tanaka. “But these moves still fall a very long way short of what is required to set us on the path to a truly sustainable energy system.”
According to the IEA’s analysis, primary energy demand will increase by 36% between 2008 and 2035 at a rate of 1.2% a year.
That figure is down on the 2% average for the previous 27 years, but is only likely to stabilise greenhouse gas concentration at over 650 parts per million – resulting in a temperature rise of 3.5°C.
The report indicates that non-OECD countries will account for 93% of the projected increase in primary energy demand, with fossil fuels remaining dominant.
“It is hard to overstate the growing importance of China… how the country responds to the threats to global energy security and climate posed by rising fossil-fuel use will have far-reaching consequences,” says Tanaka.
The world must use energy more efficiently and wean itself off fossil fuels, he says, and adopt lower carbon technologies.
Support for renewables is projected to increase from $57 billion in 2009 to $205 billion in 2035, but renewables will still only account for around 14% of total primary energy demand.
“We must act now to ensure that climate commitments are interpreted in the strongest way possible and that much stronger commitments are adopted,” urges Tanaka.
For further information:
IEA shows governments how save energy through efficiency (15-Oct)
IEA reports first signs of “energy technology revolution” (6-Jul)
Fossil fuel subsidies must end, says OECD (9-Jun)
G20 leaders to phase out fossil fuel subsidies (28-Sept 2009)
10 November 2010