IEA Report Proposes Energy Measures and Warns of Runaway Climate Change
On Monday, June 10, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report, Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, that detailed inadequacies in current energy policy and proposed four measures for the energy sector to preserve the possibility of containing emissions within 2 degrees Celsius. The IEA report noted that a global climate accord at COP 21 in 2015 would not be implemented until 2020, and that significant short-term action would be needed before 2020 to keep emissions from reaching runaway levels.
The four measures include efficiency measures in structures, industry, and transport; limiting the construction and use of inefficient coal-fired power plants; decreasing methane emissions from petroleum exploration and production; and phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. The IEA characterizes the four measures as zero-net-cost actions that will decrease excess emissions in 2020 from 4 billion to 900 million tonnes.
Overall, the IEA report challenges the assumption that emissions reductions are too expensive for immediate implementation, and offers a way to jump-start climate action by taking advantage of so-called “low-hanging fruit.” The report has generated significant media buzz due to its creative approach and its significant implications.