Nairobi, Nov 14: The world’s economies have no alternative to boosting energy efficiency and lowering carbon emissions to tackle global warming, as clean energy lies decades away as a mainstream source, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said here on Tuesday.
Claude Mandil, Executive Director of the Paris-based agency, issued what he called “a message of urgency” on the eve of a three-day meeting in Nairobi of the world’s environment ministers, tasked with charting the next steps in the fight against climate change.
“With current policies, our energy future is insecure and environmentally unsustainable,” Mandil told reporters.
“We can’t wait for a decade to make sure technology will solve the problem,” he warned. “We are not on a sustainable track.”
Mandil noted that emissions of carbon dioxide (co2), the principal greenhouse gas, had risen by 1.2 billion tonnes between 2003 and 2004, with coal accounting for 60 per cent of the higher-than-expected increase.
The rise is mainly due to fast-growing developing countries like china, which are burning more and more coal to feed their voracious economies.
Fossil fuels have such a grip on the world’s energy market that cleaner, renewable technologies such as wind, solar and tidal power will remain minority sources of power for decades to come, added Mandil.
According to the IAE’s forecast for 2030, oil will remain the no 1 energy source, followed by coal and then gas. These fossil fuels will still account for 85 per cent of needs.
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