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Clean Power World electricity demand and CO2 emissions to 2030 (iea.org)

Published on October 22nd, 2015 | by Sandy Dechert


IEA: $13.5 Trillion Climate Investment Needed By 2030

October 22nd, 2015 by  

IEA Energy and Climate Change report (iea.org)The International Energy Agency produced a World Energy Outlook special briefing today to reveal the energy sector implications of the national climate pledges (INDCs) submitted to the UN for its the upcoming climate summit in Paris (COP21). IEA estimates that in order to implement the climate investment pledges made to the UN by world leaders, the global energy industry must invest $13.5 trillion through 2030 in efficiency measures and low-carbon technologies. IEA’s analysis includes deployment of nuclear, wind, and solar power plus carbon capture and storage technologies. Download the briefing here.


National climate pledges as of mid-October 2015 (ira.org)

The expenditure needs to average $840 billion every year from 2015. Over 150 countries, which represent 90% of global economic activity and nearly 90% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, have submitted pledges to date.

Indicators for tracking decarbonization (ira.org)Low-carbon technologies must begin to lead energy sector investment. Growth in emissions from the energy sector slows dramatically if the existing INDCs are implemented fully. Says IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol:

“These pledges, together with the increasing engagement of the energy industry, are helping to build the necessary political momentum around the globe to seal a successful climate agreement. The energy industry needs a strong and clear signal. Failing to send this signal will push energy investments in the wrong direction, locking-in unsustainable energy infrastructure for decades.”

“If these pledges are met, then countries currently accounting for more than half of global economic activity will see their energy-related greenhouse gas emissions either plateau or be in decline by 2030,” says a report in India’s Economic Times.

IEA estimates that improving energy efficiency in the transport, building, and industry sectors will take up 60% of the funds. Much of the remaining investment there will go to decarbonizing the power sector. Over 60% of the total investment in power generation will go to renewables capacity: one-third to wind power, almost 30% for solar, and around 25% for hydropower.

World electricity demand and CO2 emissions to 2030 (iea.org)The IEA also warns, as other organizations and scientists have done recently, that the current pledges will not contain post-Industrial Revolution global temperature rise to the current UN target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Rather, the organization sees an imminent 2.7-degree rise.

Next month (November 10), the IEA will release its latest annual World Energy Outlook. The WEO will show the latest energy and climate developments and explore their implications for global energy security, economic development, and the environment.

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About the Author

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

  • Econyoda

    Why should we spend a dime on this fraud? According to NASA’s own data, the world has warmed .36 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 35 years (data measuring started in 1979). 2.7 degree increase won’t happen and I’m betting on it. Since 2002, the ocean temperatures have fluctuated less than 1 degree Fahrenheit. There is no warming. If so, please provide the data..I’m willing to listen.

  • Ross

    Spread over 15 years that is a small price to pay given IMF’s estimate of $5.3 trillion PER YEAR in subsidies spread over direct FF purchase subsidies, climate change damage, and health costs caused by pollution.

  • Econyoda

    Global warming is a Myth that is perpetuated by environmental wackos and big government believers to control tax revenue and their own jobs. Burn the low cost carbon, the coal, and diesel. Burn it all. It’s all a lie..

    According to NASA’s own data, the world has warmed .36 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 35 years (data measuring started in 1979). 2.7 degree increase won’t happen and I’m betting on it.

    Since 2002, the ocean temperatures have fluctuated less than 1 degree Fahrenheit. There is no warming.

    • vensonata

      We rarely see your type on this site. You are becoming as rare as an albino gorilla, so I read your science fiction with some wonder. Your little work of imagination should end like all school boy tales with, “and then I woke up”.

      • Econyoda

        More of like a lion waiting, waiting, waiting for it’s prey. It’ is really sad and embarrassing to see people stoop to name calling or personal attacks when they bring No facts to the table. By the way CleanTechnica, I’m on to you too. Your fraud will soon be exposed.

        • vensonata

          What name calling? I said you were “rare” like an albino gorilla.

          I did not call you an albino gorilla. I called you rare. And you didn’t bring a “fact” to the table. You brought your delusory opinions to the table and the bouncer escorted you to the door. Hopefully the bouncer works on Saturday as well.

  • Steve N

    Cut the US defense budget by 33% and we are at 200 billion. Plus that would decrease war since we would be less likely to “assist” oil countries in staying “safe”.

  • Matt

    Also just to increase the amount of electric produced and replace all the aging power plant is going to cost? So the delta is much smaller, when you throw in health improvements from clearer are it is cheaper.

  • Riely Rumfort

    We spend >700 billion on fossils a year, yet we’ll invest 200 billion a year on average in renewables. That’s if we choose to follow through, we’re not obligated.
    Thankfully once the world throws >5 trillion at the industry it’ll undercut fossils such it’ll perpetuate without agreements or incentives.

  • Michael G

    The IEA “sees an imminent 2.7-degree rise.” So, the 2 degree C rise in temperatures is unavoidable. Here’s the latest on what that will mean:

    “A jump in global average temperatures of 1.5°C to 2°C will see the collapse of Antarctic ice shelves and lead to hundreds and even thousands of years of sea level rise, according to new research.”


    • Riely Rumfort

      We’ve been gangbanging the future of man seemingly intentionally for the past 30 years. Antarctica won’t be the problem, Greenland will.. It’ll melt and cause a freshwater collapse the North Atlantic Gyre, buckling Northern Hemisphere heat transfer and start a ‘Little Ice Age’.
      So yeah, Antarctica, won’t melt for more than a couple decades and should remain fairly in tact. Mankind who farms for food though, by about 2070 will have a major collapse unless growing indoors. In which case the rest of the natural world will slip away while they’re immune. Sigh.
      If we threw 30 trillion at renewables globally before 2020 we could avoid it all though.. What does the monopoly game matter if we have no future?

      • Michael G

        No argument from me or I suspect anyone else here.

        I am trying to get my own city to take this seriously but I run up against politicians that just want to please the developers who fund their campaigns. They don’t want to bother with putting solar panels on their new construction, or put charging stations at their hotels so they tell their bought and paid for politicians to squash all that and go on as if nothing is happening

        The world is going to burn up because politicians can’t see past the next election and just do the bidding of those who fund their campaigns.

        • Riely Rumfort

          We honestly need a Plato’s Republic style government, basically how it works is a 3 class system. The Philosophers, a group which is composed of those who seek knowledge and betterment of all. Guardian class which is law/fire/distaster enforcers. Lastly the Worker/Production class.
          The Philosophers and Guardians all live with standardized possession and choose honor and power over wealth. While the Worker/Production class consumes/invents/busy bees.
          It keeps power from being bought and invention from being wielded for power. Basically we have no checks and balances in our current system any longer and it’s Corporatist Fascism, a few do what benefits them against the greater good.
          It’s like one of those movies where the captives grossly outnumber the captors and when they realize it everything changes, except it’s becoming more like the matrix with brains plugged in machines detached from reality.

    • Mr B

      I remember a movie that talked about this exact thing. You may remember it. I think Al Gore made it. Is this related in some way?

  • Riely Rumfort

    (Figure 2) China and India need to slow their roll.

    • JamesWimberley

      Read the news.

      • Riely Rumfort

        That’s a very vague comment.
        Do you mean their emergent middle class and populace stats?
        Or just in general about the elections and subjective garble which is the norm?

        • Frank

          China’s CO2 emissions dropped last year. They are putting up renewables faster than anybody, along with UVH transmission tomove it. They are now implementing “green dispatch”, and they are working on their pollution problem. I thing their economic growth is slowing.

          • Riely Rumfort

            Indeed it is slowing, as much as they are doing many right things on a scale befitting their populace, their electric consumption growth is unprecedented anywhere since the industrial revolution. As much as their growth is necessary for technologic modernization they need caps in both industrial and consumer use. They can’t just fill demand like the western world did over the last century it’ll be far too much to undo a mere decade after. Literally, the power plants they break ground on today will need decommisioning by 2050, the demolition and renovation by that point will come at a greater cost than initially green power.
            Equalizing modern excess is not winning, it’s multiple the levels we need not to dramatically endanger ourselves in the future along with the natural world. If Chinese can’t afford this implimentation without economic collapse it is up to all economic players to forgive and ignore the economic impact of up front energy costs.

  • vensonata

    Interesting figure…13.5 trillion dollars globally over 15 years. Or 840 billion per year. I would like to see “man in the street interviews” to ask them if that sounds like a lot or a little. Let’s see. The U.S. portion should be say 25% of that perhaps…or 200 billion per year. Now how much do the thrifty citizens of the U.S. spend on soft drinks? About 65 billion per year. Lottery tickets, 66 billion. Beer 96 billion. Ring tones, 5 billion. Bottled water 11 billion. You get the idea. Basically chump change.

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      • vensonata

        Yes, Louise. Please send me all your money.

        • vensonata

          Now that Louise has disappeared I seemed to have left a strange comment. I assure you, it all made sense at the time!

          • Michael G

            You were young! Spring was in the air! Swept up in the magic that was Louise.

            We understand. Older and wiser though you may be, there will always be the memory that was Louise.

        • JamesWimberley

          What, all the $13 trillion she expects to make working from home with Google?

          • Ronald Brakels

            I’m so good at investing I could make a google from $13 trillion.

    • Michael G

      Your numbers seemed pretty crazy. I looked them up and it turns out you are mostly right – but the $5B on ringtones is worldwide.

      Some more (US only):
      Pet Halloween Costumes: $310 million
      Tattoos: $2.3 billion
      Romance Novels: $10 billion


      • Riely Rumfort

        So depressing.
        3.2 billion on wrapping paper.. The pitiful list goes on.

      • Matt

        One aircraft carrier: 13-billion-dollar USS Gerald R. Ford.Nov 10, 2013

        Or the money wasted on the joint attack aircraft
        The projected average annual cost of this program is $12.5 billion with an estimated program life-cycle cost of $1.1 trillion. And that is before cost over runs, have terabits of data stolen.

        • Riely Rumfort


        • Keanwood

          Yeah that F-35 has been an embarrassment. I fully support the US having the best air force in the world but the F-35 is not it.

    • just_jim

      Another question immediately comes to my mind. If we were to go on with business as usual, ‘we’ would be spending money on replacing coal fired generators and natural gas turbines, and discovering and exploiting coal, and natural gas deposits. How much would BAU cost? How would that compare with the cost of the transition?

      • vensonata

        I think the US spends about 364 billion per year on electricity. If it was all spent to buy PV and wind produced electricity it would give about the same electric power back that the US uses per year…4000 billion kwh. At 10cents kwh that is 400 billion dollars a year. Basically an all renewable clean grid is possible without increasing any bills. I am certainly not the first to say that. And the engineer/professor types have worked out the details for us arithmetic challenged types.

      • JamesWimberley

        This blog reported recently on a study by analysts at Citi that gave global expenditures on energy to I think 2040 as $192 trillion under BAU – and the same (give or take a measly trillion or two – with a rapid energy transition. There are a lot of studies saying the same thing: basically it’s a wash. The health benefits turn the net into a massive saving. The problem is the massive hysteresis in the system, the Kochs, Exxon, the WSJ, legacy carmakers, etc etc.

    • Riely Rumfort

      5 billion on ringtones, I’m nauseous.

    • Keanwood

      Sure, we could live without soda, lottery tickets and bottled water, hell we would probably be better off without those things, but how in the world are we supposed to live without beer?

      • vensonata

        I tried to slip that by but I knew it was just a matter of time.

    • Econyoda

      Please note that ring tones, soft drinks, lottery tickets, and beer all are purchased by consumers through what is called discretionary income. I can assure you that tax dollars and government regulation and fines are not discretionary. 200B to support a myth…Way to dictate your views to the masses…

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