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IEA: Waiting for Carbon Emissions Agreement Until 2020 Could Have Grave Climate Consequences


imagesIf governments wait for 2020 to renew the international agreement for carbon emissions and climate change, meeting the 2 degrees target will become impossible.

The warning was issued by energy experts from the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Monday. In the report, the agency reminds that carbon emissions have increased drastically in 2012 with Japan and China leading the charts.

Fatih Birol, the lead author of the report and chief economist at the IEA urges immediate actions from governments to stop fossil fuels subsidies, switch to low-carbon energy sources and take any additional actions needed to minimize emissions.

The report also draws attention to the estimated investments that governments should direct towards clean energy. In order to meet the set targets, the $1.5 trillion that should be invested now would increase to $5 trillion, if invested in 2020. According to Birol, the chances of meeting the 2 degrees increase of temperature target, set by scientists, are decreasing enormously.

Birol points out that there are some countries that are on the right track towards meeting the goals, but they are just a few.

One of the surprises is the U.S., reporting a drop in emissions of 3.8% for 2012, mainly due to the increased use of shale gas instead of fossil fuels.  Birol is also positive about the Chinese results. The increased use of renewable energy has led to the smallest increase in emissions for the past two decades.

The report sends a very important message to governmental officials. The switch to renewables and low-carbon energy systems should start immediately. Any delays might result in overly expensive and ineffective attempts to take control of the situation.

The global deal is expected to be renewed in 2015, and implemented in 2020.  Later this week, in Bonn, officials will take part in an UN talk, discussing  current emissions and upcoming deadlines.

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