Avoiding the 6 Degree Rise

The International Energy Agency (IEA) today released the early excerpts of their special report ‘World Energy Outlook 2009’.

The report, titled ‘How the Energy Sector Can Deliver on a Climate Agreement in Copenhagen’, finds that investment in polluting technologies has been deferred significantly. As a result, CO2 emissions could fall in 2009 by as much as 3% - steeper than any other time in the last 40 years.

This could reduce emissions to 5% by 2020, which is lower than what IEA estimated just twelve months ago. This, even in the absence of additional policies.

The IEA analysis indicates that accounting for all greenhouse gases from all sources and projected to 2050 and beyond, the reference scenario would result in a concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere of around 1000 parts per million (ppm).

This would mean a catastrophic temperature increase of 6 degrees.

IEA says that the energy sector needs a clear indication from the global leaders in terms of an ambitious deal at Copenhagen. If this does not happen, the mitigation costs of the energy sector will keep increasing by US$ 500 billion per year.

IEA says that the economic downturn has created an opportunity to help stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at 450 ppm of CO2-equivalent. This trajectory of the global energy system is in line with an increase in global temperature of around 2 degrees Celsius (To read the complete press release, CLICK HERE).

"The IEA report shows that it is foolish not to invest in low carbon economy" says John Nordbo, Technology and Climate Change Expert with WWF. "It is realistic for global energy sector emissions to peak between 2015 and 2020. The report also shows there is a lot of mitigation potential within the industrialized countries themselves." he adds.

The report profiles a regionwise analysis of the entire world. It features key developed and developing countries and regions to set out steps for energy transformation, if the GHGs are to be stabilized at 450 ppm.

Here are the highlights of India’s profile:

According to the report, India would see -
  • 44% increase in energy-related CO2 emissions by 2020 (compared to 2007) to meet 450 ppm scenario
  • Decrease in the CO2 intensity in power generation by 33% and CO2 intensity of average car fleet by 34% by 2020, compared to the same in 2007
  • 25% increase in emissions from buildings and 66% increase in industry by 2020, compared to 2007
  • Additional investments in low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency of nearly $25 billion in 2020 to meet the 450 ppm target.
To read the complete report, please CLICK HERE.