When the normally conservative International Energy Agency (IEA) agrees with both the middle of the road IPCC and more … progressive voices like Climate Progress, it should be time for the world to get very serious, very fast on the clean energy transition. But when the media blows the story, the public and the policymakers may miss the key messages of the stunning new IEA report, “Energy Technology Perspectives, 2008″ (Exec. Sum. here).
You may not have paid much attention to this new report once you saw the media’s favorite headline for it: “$45 trillion needed to combat warming.” That would be too bad, because the real news from the global energy agency is
- Failing to act very quickly to transform the planet’s energy system puts us on a path to catastrophic outcomes.
- The investment required is “an average of some 1.1% of global GDP each year from now until 2050. This expenditure reflects a re-direction of economic activity and employment, and not necessarily a reduction of GDP.” In fact, this investment partly pays for itself in reduced energy costs alone (not even counting the pollution reduction benefits)!
- The world is on the brink of a renewables (and efficiency) revolution. Click figure to enlarge.
I do feel vindicated that the IEA’s 450 ppm ‘solution’ is quite similar to the one I proposed (here), though I do have some differences with them–they think hydrogen cars are part of the answer!
“RADICAL AND URGENT” CHANGE NEEDED TO AVOID CATASTROPHE