IEA’s van der Hoeven applauds EPA climate rule

International Energy Agency (IEA) head Maria van der Hoeven welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rules for power plants, but pushed for further steps to reduce carbon emissions.

Van der Hoeven said the rules could be implemented effectively, but the United States needs to do more to meet the goal of keeping global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial temperature averages.

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“It is our view that implementing the EPA rule can be achieved without damaging economic growth and while maintaining and even improving energy security,” she said Monday at the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual conference. “And crucially, it also sends a very clear signal to the international community ahead of the make-or-break climate talks in Paris next year.”

If the United States does not take meaningful steps to reduce carbon emissions, it could discourage other countries from making their own commitments and signing onto an international climate agreement next year, van der Hoeven warned. She called the June proposal, which seeks to reduce power plants’ carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, an “important first step” toward the United States’ contributions to effort, but said more must be done.

Van der Hoeven said efforts to reduce carbon emissions are essential to a holistic view of energy security.

“We can decarbonize our economy while ensuring continued economic growth, because that’s what we need,” she said. “And we can enhance energy security, because that’s what we need as well.”