IEA report calls for a ‘robust’ climate agreement in Copenhagen

Publish date: November 9, 2009

The International Energy Agency today publicised its report “World Energy Outlook” in which the agency warns that without a "robust" legally binding climate deal in Copenhagen, the world is on a collision course with catastrophic climate changes.

The Paris-based IEA has a broad mandate in promoting alternative and renewable sources of energy, rational energy policies, and multinational energy technology cooperation.

The agency’s report concluded that the climate challenge is enormous, but can and must be tackled. But if the current trend of increased fossil fuel consumption continues, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere could lead to a global temperature rise of 6 degrees Celsius, causing irreparable damage to soil and arable lands around the world.

Emissions reductions targets that will lead to the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) recommendation of no more than 2 degrees Celsius is formidable, said the report. But world financial crisis offers a unique opportunity to take the necessary measures to achieve this target while the world political mood is changing, according to the IEA.
“The IEA report underscores the need for an ambitious climate agreement in Copenhagen,” said Bellona Vice President Marius Holm.

The world needs a pioneer
In today’s report, the IEA writes that the end use of fossil energy in the rich countries must be reduced from current level by in 2020 to reach the 2-degree IPCC goal. Bellona is calling for a reality check from the Norwegian government that matches the challenges the world faces.

Norwegian oil and energy minister, Terje Riis-Johansen, wrote in an op-ed piece in today’s edition of Norway’s daily Dagbladet that there is a need to invest in oil and gas production to switch to a more sustainable energy sector.

Bellona’s Holm disagreed.

“The world needs rich nations like Norway to go ahead and show that it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not that we are stocking up to increase recovery of fossil fuels,” he said.

Time-out for efforts at home
Riis-Johansen writes in the same op-ed piece that the government is working actively through ENOVA –  an  international designer and supplier energy conversion systems – to ensure increased energy efficiency in buildings, as well as for putting in place a market of green certificates in order to secure large increases in renewable energy production in Norway.  

Again, Holm begged to differ.

“The IEA’s own review showed that Norway is slowing down in energy efficiency,” he said.

“We know that several wind farm projects have long been at a standstill, and that even the recent increase in ENOVA support rates are not sufficient to trigger the wind power projects that are ready for development.”

In addition, Bellona is calling for, among other things, an increased effort to make use of electricification along the Norwegian coast and increase efforts to implement CO2 capture and storage for several large emissions points in Norwgian industry.

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