IEA urges again to act strongly on energy efficiency

The International Energy Agency published this week the latest edition of its World Energy Outlook.

It strongly reinforces the importance of energy efficiency and conservation to solve both problems that are climate change and energy scarcity. According to them, these policies have to implemented in the next ten years.

This is the second time in less than a month that the IEA urges all countries to implement strict energy conservation policies. (see previous article, dated October 17th)

According to the report, the trend of greenhouse gases emissions are gloomier than ever and if nothing was done those emissions would grow by 50 % by 2030 when it is the exact opposite (to decrease by 50 percent our greenhouse gases emissions) that has to be done.

The fate of us all depend strongly on the policies that will be implemented in the next ten years worldwide but mainly by the two Asian giants that are India and China. Indeed they would account by 45 % of the total explosion of energy demand.

As the IEA states it : “Both countries’ energy use is set to more than double between 2005 and 2030.” This would occur if nothing was done on energy conservation.

I propose you below some parts of the IEA press release :

“The huge energy challenges facing China and India are global energy challenges and call for a global response. The World Energy Outlook 2007 charts a course to a more secure, competitive, lower-carbon energy system – a course that must involve the world’s two emerging giants”, said Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) today in London at the launch of the latest edition of the Outlook.

The annual flagship publication of the IEA this year focuses on energy developments in China and India and their implications for the world.

“WEO-2007 demonstrates more clearly than ever that, if governments don’t change their policies, oil and gas imports, coal use and greenhouse-gas emissions are set to grow inexorably through to 2030 – even faster, in fact, than in last year’s Outlook. These trends would threaten energy security and accelerate climate change.

But the Outlook also shows how new policies can pave the way to an alternative energy future”, Mr. Tanaka stressed.

(…) But the consequences of unfettered growth in global energy demand are alarming for all countries. If governments around the world stick with existing policies – the underlying premise of the WEO Reference Scenario – the world’s energy needs would be well over 50% higher in 2030 than today.

(…) Worldwide, fossil fuels – oil, gas and coal – continue to dominate the fuel mix. Among them, coal is set to grow most rapidly, driven largely by power-sector demand in China and India. These trends lead to continued growth in global energy-related emissions of carbon-dioxide (CO2), from 27 Gt in 2005 to 42 Gt in 2030 – a rise of 57%.

China is expected to overtake the United States to become the world’s biggest emitter in 2007, while India becomes the third-biggest emitter by around 2015. China’s per-capita emissions almost reach those of OECD Europe by 2030.

(…) If governments around the world implement policies they are considering today, as assumed in an Alternative Policy Scenario, global energy-related CO2 emissions would level off in the 2020s and reach 34 Gt in 2030 – almost a fifth less than in the Reference Scenario.

(…) But even in the Alternative Policy Scenario, global CO2 emissions are still one-quarter above current levels in 2030. In a “450 Stabilisation Case”, which describes a notional pathway to long-term stabilisation of the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at around 450 parts per million, global emissions peak in 2012 and then fall sharply below 2005 levels by 2030.

Emissions savings come from improved efficiency in industry, buildings and transport, switching to nuclear power and renewables, and the widespread deployment of CO2 capture and storage (CCS). Exceptionally quick and vigorous policy action by all countries, and unprecedented technological advances, entailing substantial costs, would be needed to make this case a reality.

Source : IEA Press release from November 7th.

Albeit all these worrying news I remain confident as last month, France launched a ambitious plan that is due to reinforce energy conservation in all sectors and increase the important of clean energy sources.

This was done after months of discussions between the Government, the NGOs, and the representatives of the civil society in what is named here the Grenelle de l’Environnement.

Is the situation hopeless ? No, if France managed to launch a plan that will revolutionize the way it uses energy, all countries can do it. Hence the importance of a Grenelle mondial as stated by Al Gore.

It is even less hopeless if WE THE PEOPLE act worldwide. Global warming is upon us but all of us can act and all these actions could change the course Earth climate is taking.

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