Time to derail fossil fuel train, energy agency warns

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

From an article by Stephen Leahy posted on the Inter Press Service: UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 10, 2011 (IPS) - Countries have chained themselves to a fossil fuel train that is headed straight off a cliff, warns the International Energy Agency (IEA). Without a bold change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system, the IEA said Wednesday in London on the release of the 2011 World Energy Outlook. Sounding very much like Greenpeace, the conservative IEA called for urgent action by governments to massively shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy and boost energy efficiency. Without a major shift in priorities in the next five years, there will be enough fossil fuel infrastructure in place to guarantee a two-degree C rise in temperatures, it warned. "Governments need to introduce stronger measures to drive investment in efficient and low-carbon technologies," said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. "We cannot continue to rely on insecure and environmentally unsustainable uses of energy," van der Hoeven said in a release. "Delaying action is a false economy," the World Energy Outlook report emphasises. Every dollar of investment in cleaner technology before 2020 avoids the need to spend an additional 4.30 dollars after 2020 to compensate for the increased emissions, it said.