Climate Pledges Need $13.5 Trillion Investment by 2030, IEA Says

The global energy industry needs to invest $13.5 trillion through 2030 in efficiency measures and low-carbon technologies in order to meet climate-protection pledges by world leaders, the International Energy Agency said.

The expenditure, which includes deployment of nuclear, wind and solar power as well as carbon capture and storage, needs to average $840 billion every year from 2015, the IEA said Wednesday in a report. It said the growth in energy-related emissions “will slow to a relative crawl by 2030” if nations follow through with their pledges.

Countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe have been submitting pledges to the United Nations since the start of the year indicating what actions they’re prepared to take as part of a new global deal to fight climate change that envoys from more than 190 nations aim to seal in Paris in December. As of Tuesday, 154 countries representing 86 percent of global emissions had submitted their plans, Christiana Figueres, the UN’s top climate diplomat, told reporters at UN talks in Bonn.

“These pledges, together with the increasing engagement of the energy industry, are helping to build the necessary political momentum around the globe to seal a successful climate agreement,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said. “The energy industry needs a strong and clear signal. Failing to send this signal will push energy investments in the wrong direction, locking-in unsustainable energy infrastructure for decades.”

Countries representing more than half of global economic output will see their energy-related emissions flatten or be in decline by 2030 if they meet their pledges, the IEA said. By then, 70 percent of new electricity generation will be low-carbon, and the global power sector’s emissions will have flattened near current levels, the agency said.

Even so, the IEA warned that current pledges won’t contain the global temperature rise since pre-industrial times to the UN target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). It predicted a temperature rise of 2.7 degrees instead.

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