COP21 and IEA’s four key messages


The International Energy Agency (IEA) said the UN climate negotiators in their upcoming conference in Paris need to take four quick steps to shift the energy sector into a low-carbon path while supporting economic growth and providing energy to more people.

IEA Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology Kamel Ben Naceur said he has four clear messages for the climate conference. He asked the negotiators to take five key actions, led by energy efficiency and renewables, to peak global energy emissions; use the Paris Agreement to drive short-term actions consistent with long-term emission goals; Accelerate energy technology innovation to make decarbonisation cheaper and easier, and enhance energy security by making the energy sector more resilient to climate change impacts

The first message builds on the climate pledges countries have submitted: while they were a leap forward in the breadth and depth of climate response, more was needed. An essential next step towards the 2°C target was a peak, then decline, in global greenhouse gas emissions. The IEA said in a statement it had identified a set of five actions that use today’s technologies to reduce emissions while maintaining economic growth.

To drive short-term actions forward, the IEA called for locking the vision of the 2°C target into a clear and understandable long-term goal, with five-year revisions to track the transition. Thirdly, in terms of accelerating innovation, reducing the cost and improving the performance of low-carbon technologies is essential to making the transformation of energy systems affordable and feasible.

Finally, the energy sector faces multiple threats from climate change, in particular from extreme weather events and increasing water stress. By becoming more resilient to climate change impacts, the sector will maintain and improve its technical viability and economic cost-effectiveness in providing energy to meet mounting demand.

The energy sector is critical to resolving the climate change challenge because it accounts for at least two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions.


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