As I noted last week, the prestigious International Energy Agency reported that despite some emission reductions from the United States and Europe, the world keeps on spewing more and more gigatonnes of greenhouse gases.
Luckily, the IEA proposes in its latest report four energy policies that would cut by eight percent the 2020 emissions compared to a business as usual scenario. This would amount to 3.1 Gt CO2 equivalent.
While these actions are not exactly what the worlds need to keep its climate as cool as it should be, they could be done at no net economic cost.
As Climate Progress summed up these actions :
- Targeted energy efficiency measures in buildings, industry and transport account for nearly half the emissions reduction in 2020, with the additional investment required being more than offset by reduced spending on fuel bills.
- Limiting the construction and use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants delivers more than 20% of the emissions reduction and helps curb local air pollution. The share of power generation from renewables increases (from around 20% today to 27% in 2020), as does that from natural gas.
- Actions to halve expected methane (a potent greenhouse gas) releases into the atmosphere from the upstream oil and gas industry in 2020 provide 18% of the savings.
- Implementing a partial phase-out of fossil fuel consumption subsidies accounts for 12% of the reduction in emissions and supports efficiency efforts.
If you have been reading this website – and others – for the past few months and years, there is nothing new. Let’s hope that the carbon taxes that will be implemented in China and elsewhere will have a bigger impact.