IEA Urges Greater Effort on Climate Goals

Countries need to improve pledges on reducing emissions to reach the goal of keeping the increase in average global temperature below 2C by the end of the century, the International Energy Agency said Monday.

Setting out its assessment of various countries' commitments six months ahead of a crunch climate change conference in Paris, the IEA said: "These pledges will have a positive impact on future energy trends but will fall short of the major course correction required to meet the 2C goal."

World powers hope to keep global temperature change under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).  

With the current pledges, the growth in global energy-related emissions "slows but does not peak by 2030," said the agency in a report.

Furthermore, if deeper cuts in emissions do not occur, temperatures will continue to rise sharply, the IEA projected.

"If stronger action is not forthcoming after 2030, the path ... would be consistent with an average temperature increase of around 2.6C by 2100 and 3.5C by 2200," predicted the IEA.

The agency's executive director Maria van der Hoeven stressed that "time is of the essence", noting that "the cost and difficulty of mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions increase every year."

While there is "growing consensus among countries that it is time to act", strong vigilance is required to ensure that the pledges are adequate and that commitments are kept, she added.

The IEA suggested five key measures to ensure that global energy-related emissions peak already in 2020.

They call for improved energy efficiency in key industrial sectors, reducing the use of inefficient coal-fired power plants, increased investment in renewable energy technologies, a gradual phasing out of fossil-fuel subsidies and a reduction in methane emissions in oil and gas production.

"This major climate milestone is possible utilizing only proven technologies and policies and without changing the economic and development prospects of any region," the IEA notes.

Source: Agence France Presse

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