IEA calls for "urgent action" on climate change

03. December 2012 | Markets & Trends, Global PV markets | By:  Jonathan Gifford

The executive director of the International Energy Agency has made a call for "more urgent than ever" action to reduce carbon emissions and promote "low-carbon" energy investment. The strong statement comes as the second week of the UN’s Climate Change Conference in Doha continues.

An IEA function.

IEA calls for action on climate change are becoming increasingly forceful.

While urgent calls to action regarding renewable energy development have long come from environmental activists, the IEA is now getting in on the action. As UN talks on measures to limit potential anthropomorphic climate change take place in the Middle East, the IEA head has made a public and strongly worded call to action.

IEA executive director, Maria van der Hoeven issued the statement today, as the 18th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change continued. In it she writes that IEA analysis indicates that the window of opportunity to limit global warming to 2C is passing. Action to achieve this goal is becoming "more difficult and more expensive with every passing year." If warming of 3.5C occurs, Hoeven says that the melting of Artic permafrost will lead to "unpredictable results."

Action to limit carbon emissions suggested by the IEA in the statement includes, "policies that promote the rapid deployment of energy-efficiency technologies," to effectively "buy time" for the international community. Strategies to reduce emissions by closing high-emitting facilities are also suggested.

Significantly for the renewable energy community and photovoltaic industry, the IEA suggests policies "to encourage low-carbon investment" are important, particularly in emerging economies where energy demand is forecast to increase. The IEA chief Hoeven also writes, "fossil fuel subsidies, must be eliminated."

Underpinning the IEA’s strong response to the possibility that the Doha talks will result in further inaction, Hoeven declares that energy security is at risk, "in the face of extreme weather and climate change." The IEA says that it has been working on ways to sure up energy security in the wake of such threats.

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