Washington: Global temperatures are expected to rise 3.5 degrees C. over the next 25 years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said, suggesting that governments worldwide are failing to honor their pledge to hold global temperature at a two-degree increase.
The warning does not seem surprising, considering the 28-nation Copenhagen Accord signed in December 2009 was not legally binding and also fell short of recommendations from the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for how to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C.
But according to Fatih Birol, the chief economist for the Paris-based IEA, if governments remove subsidies for fossil fuels and increase investments in renewable energy to make them cost competitive, then the Copenhagen Accord can still be upheld.
“Renewable energies need substantial subsidies from governments. The important task [for governments] is to decide whether they will support energy renewables in the future. It could be bad news for energy security and climate change if they don’t," the Christian Science Monitor quoted Dr. Birol, as saying in a telephone interview.
“Renewable energy can play a central role in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions and diversifying energy supplies, but only if strong and sustained support is made available," IEA executive director Nobuo Tanaka said in a statement upon Tuesday''s release of the 2010 World Energy Outlook.
The IEA projects global energy demand to surge 36 percent over the next 25 years. As that happens, use of modern renewable energy sources will triple as their share in total primary energy demand increases from 7 percent to 14 percent, the IEA said.
According to current government commitments and policies, the IEA projects government intervention in support of renewables (electricity from renewables and biofuels) will increase from 57 billion dollars in 2009 to 205 billion dollars by 2035.
First Published: Friday, November 12, 2010, 15:28