IEA World Energy Outlook 2011

According to the IEA’s annual report, the situation is getting bleaker and bleaker. Confirming that we have five years to start decreasing our global emissions – cf. my previous post on that very matter – it is also providing several other findings.

As you can sure imagine, several websites published lengthy articles on the very matter. In today’s article we will review the main findings and the most essential parts of the World Energy Outlook 2011.

World leaders will meet again very soon in Durban, South Africa, to discuss about the future of the Kyoto Protocol. It’s time they, we, step up and heed the calls for serious actions.

The Kyoto Protocol was just the start. What we need now is major actions from all the major contributing countries to greenhouse gases emissions.

More and more fossil fuels infrastructures are being built around the world. If the trend keeps on its tracks, by 2017 all the elements needed to lock our climate in an unstoppable trend would be built. It is thus high time to increase significantly the efforts toward energy efficiency, renewables and nuclear.

On the latter, the International Energy Agency believes that countries moving away from nuclear is a bad idea. (And so do I…)

Ending the massive subsidies to fossil fuels around the world is a critical move. Giving them to renewables ( as well as efficiency and nuclear ) is another one.

As News24 notes:

( In the low-carbon scenario ) The share of fossil fuels in global primary energy consumption falls from around 81% today to 75% in 2035, while renewables increase from 13% of the mix today to 18%.

This scenario already assumes a huge boost in subsidies for renewables, from $64bn today to $250bn in 2035.

As GreenTech Media notes :

Without further action by 2017, the energy-related infrastructure then in place would generate all the CO2 emissions allowed in the 450 Scenario up to 2035.

Delaying action is a false economy: for every $1 of investment in cleaner technology that is avoided in the power sector before 2020, an additional $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions.

Deutsche Welle notes :

Current clean energy technologies are insufficient to meet carbon reduction targets, so in the nearer term improving energy efficiency should be the top priority.

You may also read the additional reporting from The Guardian and my fellows at CleanTechies.

To conclude, a few words from Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist :

If current trends continue, international agreements to cap temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels will no longer be honored. That’s the threshold beyond which some scientists have said serious climate disruption could be triggered.

I am very worried – if we don’t change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum (for safety). The door will be closed forever.


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