Report: Climate measures falling short

Climate initiatives in the United States, China and other nations aren’t putting the world on track to avoid dangerous temperature increases, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA’s new World Energy Outlook takes stock of efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector that accounts for two-thirds of global greenhouse gas pollution.

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The report offers some good news ...

“Although some carbon abatement schemes have come under pressure, initiatives such as the President’s Climate Action Plan in the United States, the Chinese plan to limit the share of coal in the domestic energy mix, the European debate on 2030 energy and climate targets and Japan’s discussions on a new energy plan all have the potential to limit the growth in energy- related CO2 emissions,” it states.

... but adds that it’s not enough.

“In our central scenario, taking into account the impact of measures already announced by governments to improve energy efficiency, support renewables, reduce fossil-fuel subsidies and, in some cases, to put a price on carbon, energy-related CO2 emissions still rise by 20% to 2035. This leaves the world on a trajectory consistent with a long-term average temperature increase of 3.6 °C, far above the internationally agreed 2 °C target,” the IEA report, released Tuesday, states.

Scientists say limiting the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels would help avoid some of the most severe impacts of climate change.

The IEA report echoes a United Nations study, released last week, which warned that the odds of cost-effectively avoiding the most dangerous effects of climate change will “swiftly diminish” unless countries quickly begin taking stronger steps to curb emissions.