The International Energy Agency is an autonomous international organization with 28 national members, including Canada, and a mandate to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy. In recent years it has frequently engaged with the issue of climate change. This month it has issued a special report offering its advice on how to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius, the internationally agreed target, without harming economic growth.
The IEA special report points out that the energy sector is the single largest source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions. Although the deployment of renewables is already broadly on track towards the ambitious level required to deliver their expected contribution to meeting long-term climate targets, much wider adoption of efficiency measures will be necessary to fulfill the energy efficiency expectations of a scenario consistent with the achievement of the international 2 °C climate target.
Describing its 2020 plan as the 4-for-2 °C Scenario, the report proposes:
- Targeted specific energy efficiency improvements in the industry, buildings and transport sectors.
- Limiting the use and construction of inefficient coal-fired power plants.
- Minimizing methane emissions in upstream oil and gas production.
- Further partial phase out of fossil-fuels subsidies to end-users.
Only the second of these has to date been fully adopted in Canada.
For the beyond 2020 period, the report looks at:
- early adoption of low carbon technologies.
- carbon capture and storage, something which currently comes with significant challenges; and
- carbon pricing, an essential component of a post-2020 scenario.
This well-written 116 page analysis lays out very clearly the industry-impacting initiatives that can be expected if the global commitment to limit ourselves to a 2 °C climate target is to be met. This recommended reading for all policy makers, industry leaders, and environmentally-interested citizens, titled Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map, can be found at http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/pressreleases/2013/june/name,38773,en.html