Improving energy efficiency is among four policies that the International Energy Agency said can help achieve emissions cuts needed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The measures would reduce energy-industry emissions by about 3.1 billion metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent compared with a business-as-usual scenario, the Paris-based adviser to 28 developed nations said in an e-mailed report. The reduction is about 80 percent of what’s needed by the end of the decade to meet the United Nations goal of keeping global temperatures within 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels.
The report shows “the path we are currently on is more likely to result in a temperature increase of between 3.6 degrees Celsius and 5.3 degrees Celsius but also finds that much more can be done to tackle energy-sector emissions without jeopardizing economic growth,” IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement.
The IEA’s policies include improving energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport; cutting construction and use of the least-efficient coal plants; minimizing methane emissions from oil and natural gas production and accelerating the phase-out of some fossil-fuel consumption subsidies.
UN envoys have been meeting in Bonn since last week to work on a post-2020 climate agreement they want to seal by 2015. Delaying emission-reduction policies would be costly, and putting off $1.5 trillion in low-carbon investments before the end of the decade would require $5 trillion in additional spending to get back on track after 2020, the IEA said.
Global energy industry-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record 31.6 billion tons, according to the IEA’s report called Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map. In the U.S., carbon output fell by 200 million tons amid a switch to gas from coal for power generation. China had the biggest increase with 300 million tons, though the pace of growth was the lowest for the country in a decade, the IEA said.
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