IEA calls for ‘technology revolution’ to tackle global warming


-File photo

The world must spend one percent of its annual economic output to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the IEA said on Friday, calling for an ‘energy technology revolution’ to curb global warming.
Unless governments take action now, carbon dioxide emissions will rise by 130 percent by the middle of the century and oil demand will grow 70 percent, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report published in Tokyo.
To halve carbon dioxide emissions, the world would need to spend an additional 45 trillion US dollars on clean energy technologies by 2050 — one percent of average annual gross domestic product over the period, it estimated.
“There should be no doubt that meeting the target of a 50 percent cut in emissions represents a formidable challenge,” Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the Paris-based IEA, told a press conference here.
“We would require immediate policy action and technological transition on an unprecedented scale. It would essentially require a new global technological revolution which would completely transform the way we produce and use energy.”
He noted that, according to the UN-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, such deep cuts are needed to limit global warming to two to three degrees C (36 to 37 degrees F) up to the end of the century.
The IEA said no single form of energy or technology could solve the problem alone, calling for increased use of carbon dioxide capture and storage, renewable and nuclear energy and better energy efficiency.
Rich and poor nations are divided on what action to take to tackle climate change, despite growing fears that global warming could cause the extinction of plants and animals within the century and put millions of people at risk.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2008