The International Energy Agency has warned that energy must be at the core of any COP21 climate agreement, or else climate efforts are at risk.
The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Executive Director, Faith Birol, spoke at a press conference on Wednesday, the day after he challenged the plenary session of the negotiations to elevate energy from the leading cause of climate change issues to its leading solution. “Any agreement in Paris must have energy at its core – otherwise it risks to be a failure,” he said, speaking after a new study was published in the journal Nature reinforcing the idea that there is a decoupling happening between economic growth and emissions increase.
“We expect Paris to signal a happy divorce between economic growth and emissions increases,” Dr Birol added.
Dr Birol’s words are by no means revolutionary — They follow in the path of the four key messages the IEA brought to the COP21 United Nations climate negotiations:
- Take five key actions, led by energy efficiency and renewables, to peak global energy emissions.
- Use the Paris Agreement to drive short-term actions consistent with long-term emission goals.
- Accelerate energy technology innovation to make decarbonization cheaper and easier.
- Enhance energy security by making the energy sector more resilient to climate change impacts
“COP21 is a critical and necessary step in ongoing and increasing global efforts to decarbonise the energy sector and limit global warming,” Dr Birol told the press conference. “It will be a historic mistake to lessen energy efficiency’s and renewable energy’s support as the price of fossil fuels declines.”
Image Credit: IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol (left) at the press conference at COP21 with IEA Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology Director Kamel Ben Naceur. Photo by George Kamiya
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