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IEA Calls for More Funds to Support Carbon Capture Technology

Governments must increase funds to support carbon capture and storage technology and ramp up efforts to improve energy efficiency or risk missing climate change targets, the International Energy Agency warned.

Progress in deploying nine out of 10 technologies that curb carbon emissions and reduce energy use is stalling, the Paris-based agency, which advises 28 nations, said today in a report.

Greater use of electric vehicles and pollution-trapping CCS equipment are needed to cut energy-related CO2 emissions by half by 2050, according to the IEA. That’s required to ensure an 80 percent chance of limiting the average global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, it said. The IEA reiterated that about $140 trillion will be required to shift to a low-carbon energy industry by 2050.

“Continued heavy reliance on a narrow set of technologies and fossil fuels is a significant threat to energy security, stable economic growth and global welfare, as well as to the environment,” Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in the report.

Public funding for CCS, which could account for about 20 percent of the required CO2 reductions by 2050 and involves the permanent storage of emissions underground, is inadequate, the report said. Energy efficiency technologies are impeded by a lack of incentives and “non-economic” barriers, according to the report.

CCS technology allows industry such as iron and steel and natural gas processing to meet “deep” emissions cutting goals, according to the IEA.

The agency said 38 projects that fit CCS to power generation are required by 2020 to reach climate goals while none operate now. More progress is also needed in less mature renewable technologies such as offshore wind and concentrated solar power, according to the IEA.

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