International Energy Agency Warns World Headed Toward 3.6⁰C Warming by 2035
In its World Energy Outlook report (WEO), the International Energy Agency (IEA) is warning that carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise 20 percent by 2035, a staggering increase which will lead to a rise in global temperatures of approximately 3.6 degrees Centigrade.
This report comes on the heels of the more optimistic United Nations Energy Program Gap Report which finds that global temperature gains can be held to two degrees Centigrade if countries commit to more robust emission reduction goals.
Chief Economist of the IEA, Fatih Birol, explained, "CO2 emissions are on the rise despite a renewed focus on energy efficiency. A 3.6 degree temperature rise is much more significant than people just saying 'I need to take my jacket off'. It's a major change to the delicate equilibrium of our planet." He added, "It is very urgent that we find a low-carbon path to tackle the biggest issue, which is of course that of climate change."
The WEO finds that by as early as 2015 renewables will overtake gas as the second-largest source of energy generation and, by 2035, renewables will account for 62 percent of investment in new power plants. The IEA is calling for a worldwide investment of $6.5 trillion over the next 20 years in renewable technology, with five percent being used to promote the development of biofuels.
Emphasizing that an increased reliance on renewable energies, however, does not do enough to curb global warming, the IEA is also calling for emissions reductions and rightly points out that energy-intensive countries, in particular, will have to take more decisive steps.
What You Can Do
- For more information on carbon reduction, visit the website of the UK carbon reduction network, E2B Pulse.
- In the United States, the Climate Reality Project, headed by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, is working to build a global grassroots movement to fight against climate change.
- Follow the COP 19 Climate Talks in Warsaw, Poland, which are continuing through November 22
- Support President Obama's Climate Action Plan, which will reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, among other objectives.