IEA Outlines Pillars for Success at Paris Climate Change Conference
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A special report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) proposes a four-pillar approach to making the UN Paris Climate Change Conference a success from the energy perspective, namely through: a peak in energy emissions; a five-year review of national emission targets; a long-term emissions goal; and a process for tracking energy-sector achievements.

IEA15 June 2015: A special report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) proposes a four-pillar approach to making the UN Paris Climate Change Conference a success from the energy perspective, namely through: a peak in energy emissions; a five-year review of national emission targets; a long-term emissions goal; and a process for tracking energy-sector achievements.

The report, titled ‘Energy and Climate Change,’ is part of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) Special Report series and is presented as the IEA’s contribution to the Paris Climate Change Conference, scheduled to take place in November-December 2015. It notes that since energy production and use account for two-thirds of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, “energy will be at the core of the discussion” on the deep emission cuts required for keeping the global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels. The report outlines how this goal can be achieved while sustaining economic growth, enhancing energy security globally and bringing modern energy to billions.

Assessing the aggregate effect of recent low-carbon energy developments, as well as submitted and proposed intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), the report finds that these measures alone would not result in a peak in global energy-related emissions by 2030. The IEA therefore calls for national pledges submitted for the Paris conference to “form the basis of a ‘virtuous cycle’ of rising ambition” whereby political leaders create a clear expectation for the energy sector on low-carbon development through a four-pillar approach, comprised by setting: the conditions for an early peak in global energy-related emissions; a review mechanism that allows for raising the ambition of countries’ mitigation targets every five years; a clear, collective long-term emissions goal; and a strong process for tracking progress towards nationally-determined mitigation goals.

The IEA calculates the peak in energy-related emissions could be achieved by 2020 relying on proven technologies and policies, and without changing the economic and development prospects of any region, by undertaking five measures: increasing energy efficiency in the industry, buildings and transport sectors; phasing out least-efficient coal-fired power plants; increasing investment in renewables in the power sector; phasing out end-user fossil-fuel subsidies by 2030; and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas production.

UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Christiana Figures stated that the IEA report “confirms that with the right policies, pathways and support for developing countries a new, prosperous, low carbon economy can be created and catalyzed” from Paris onwards. The UN Paris Climate Change Conference will take place from 30 November to 11 December 2015, in Paris, France. [IEA Press Release] [IEA Publication Webpage] [Publication: World Energy Outlook Special Report 2015: Energy and Climate Change] [IEA Publication Executive Summary] [UNFCCC Press Release]


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