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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Without ‘radical action’, climate goals can not be achieved, says the energy agency

BERLIN ( Associated Press) – The world needs to take “radical action” to move away from fossil fuels, including investing $ 5.7 trillion annually in solar, wind and other forms of clean power this decade to ensure global warming is not dangerous thresholds do not exceed. head of the International Renewable Energy Agency said Tuesday.

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Other measures proposed in a 348-page report on the global energy transition include improving energy efficiency, increasing electrification, capturing carbon emissions and expanding the use of hydrogen gas.

Scientists say global emissions should fall by 45 percent by the end of the decade compared to 1990 levels. But recent data shows they are going up, not down, in part due to rising energy demand and the expansion of fossil fuel use.

“The energy transition is far from on track and anything short of radical action in the coming years will reduce chances, even eliminate them, of achieving our climate goals,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.

Countries agreed in Paris seven years ago to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), ideally no more than 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F), to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences for the planet. With temperatures now exceeding 1.1 degrees C above the pre-industrial average, a recent report by a UN science panel found that billions around the world are already vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

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La Camera said at an energy conference in Berlin that “not only the 1.5 C, the 2 C target is really in danger if we do not act and do not make a dramatic change in the way we produce and consume energy.”

IRENA, based in the oil-rich Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi, said $ 700 billion in investments should be diverted from the fossil fuel sector each year to prevent the creation of disused wells, pipelines and power plants.

This demand was endorsed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who called for an end to private sector funding for coal power, which rose to record highs last year.

“Lenders need to recognize that coal and fossil fuels are futile investments that will result in billions of dollars in stranded assets,” he said.

With countries like the United States increasing domestic fossil fuel production amid energy price increases and fears of supply shortages due to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Guterres has urged governments not to delay the shift of fossil fuels.

“The current crisis shows that we need to accelerate, not slow down, the transition to renewable energy,” he said. “This is the only true path to energy security.”

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Such calls had mixed results.

At a forum in Dubai this week, energy ministers from major oil producers Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as the secretary general of the OPEC oil cartel, insisted that fossil fuels are part of the energy transition and hundreds of billions of dollars in oil and gas investments are still needed.

While the two Gulf states have promised to reduce emissions within their borders to net zero, they call their barrels of oil as less carbon-intensive than those mined elsewhere and have no plans to scale down production. OPEC expects more oil to be needed in the coming decades, mainly due to a population boom in Asia.

Even Germany, which is trying to become carbon neutral by 2045 and recently announced a series of new measures to further promote renewable energy, continues to dig coal for energy needs.

Utilities RWE won a court case this week that allowed him to push a farm in the West German town of Luetzerath in preparation for the expansion of a nearby lignite mine.

Aya Batrawy in Dubai contributed to this report.

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