IEA Ups the Ante


When it comes to fighting global warming, enough is never enough. Kyoto is a bust, so Kyoto II will dig deeper. Climate bills don’t have much support, so make them more onerous for industry to stress the urgency in enacting them.

As if on cue, the International Energy Agency is now saying we need more money and even steeper carbon cuts if we are going to fend off climate catastrophe. In a new report, the IEA says $10 trillion is needed in the fight against rising temperatures. Trillion. Today’s WSJ  reports:

LONDON — An investment of $10 trillion in renewable energy and other carbon-abatement technology will be necessary over the next two decades to limit the rise in the Earth’s temperature, the International Energy Agency warns in a new report.

The IEA, energy adviser to the world’s richest nations, urges more-aggressive reductions in carbon emissions than what many nations are currently planning. In the report, to be released Tuesday, the IEA calls for investment — in clean-energy initiatives such as solar power, new nuclear plants and other measures — of $500 billion a year over the next 20 years.

That is 37% more investment than what the IEA estimated was necessary just a year ago. Some analysts put the current level of investment in clean energy at around $100 billion a year.

The additional investment called for could be particularly expensive for consumers in developed nations such as Germany and the U.S., which would likely face higher costs to fill up their vehicles and keep their lights on.

The IEA also says sales of vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine will need to fall from around 95% of the world’s total purchases today to 40% in 2030; electric and hybrid vehicles would need to account for the majority of new vehicle sales over the next 20 years.

The IEA’s projections, though sometimes seen as overly ambitious, are generally regarded as relevant guideposts for the energy industry.



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