IEA Says World Needs $45 Trillion `Energy Revolution' (Update3)
By Shigeru Sato
June 6 (Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency said the world needs $45 trillion in additional investment to develop clean technologies in a bid to cut annual emissions of gases blamed for global warming by half before mid-century.
Carbon-dioxide emissions will rise by 130 percent and oil demand 70 percent by 2050 if governments don't change current policies, Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA's executive director, said in a statement released in Tokyo today. The investment equals 1.1 percent of projected global gross domestic product in the period.
The main international energy adviser for the U.S., the U.K. and 25 other nations said inaction would boost the average global temperature by 6 degrees Celsius (10.8 degrees Fahrenheit), citing UN scientific studies. The result would be ``significant change in all aspects of life and irreversible change in the natural environment,'' the report said, suggesting targets that governments and industries have failed to set for themselves.
``There is no agreement on how fast industry will have to adapt to current environmental constraints, and for many the implications aren't well understood,'' said Georges Chehade, vice president of consultant Booz & Company, by phone from Athens.
The IEA estimates are meant to guide the Group of Eight industrialized nations' efforts to develop clean technologies such as fuel-cell devices and wind turbines to reduce gases that cause global warming. Tanaka will join a meeting of G-8 energy ministers starting tomorrow in Japan's northern prefecture of Aomori.
`Global Energy Revolution'
``A global energy technology revolution is both necessary and achievable, but it will be a tough challenge,'' Tanaka said in the statement. ``The world faces the daunting combination of surging energy demand, rising greenhouse gas emissions and tightening resources.''
The world needs to build 32 new nuclear power plants and 17,500 wind-power turbines each year to halve emissions by 2050, according to the Paris-based energy adviser. G-8 environment ministers last month pledged to achieve such a reduction. By contrast France, Europe's biggest nuclear power, has 58 reactors.
The agency said that increased use of nuclear power, the development of renewable energy sources, such as solar power, and carbon capture and storage are vital to reducing emissions. Carbon capture is a technology in which carbon dioxide emissions are caught in the air and stored underground.
Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has proposed that world leaders step up efforts to develop clean technologies by 2030 to meet emissions-reduction targets to be set under a new climate treaty. The treaty, a successor to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, is due to be completed in Copenhagen next year.
``We need to act now,'' Tanaka said in the statement. ``We need roadmaps that accelerate international technology development and implementation, but that leave room for flexible responses on a country level.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Shigeru Sato in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: June 6, 2008 12:20 EDT