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World | Oct 13, 2021

The world needs to invest US$4 trillion a year in clean energy -IEA

Al Edwards

Al Edwards / Our Today

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Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. (Photo: IEA.org)


With oil prices soaring and now sitting above the US$80-a-barrel mark, alternative energy solutions are needed more than ever, particularly given the damage wrought on the environment.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), in its World Energy Outlook report released today (October 13), says the world will now need to invest US$4 trillion a year for the remainder of the decade in clean energy and infrastructure.

This should go some way in stemming global rising temperatures.

Speaking with the BBC, Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA, said: “If you push clean energy, energy efficiency, solar, electric cars and other solutions, you don’t need any more to use fossil fuels, you switch to clean energy sources.

“It’s very simple to say, but it is the issue of the governments, in order to incentivise those investments, in order to fill the gap in energy supplies which is lacking from the fossil fuels.”

The goal is to still comply with the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 which means governments across the world making an effort to substantially reduce emissions.

RELIANCE ON FOSSIL FUELS

The IEA would like to see incentives such as tax breaks and access to finance implemented to help reduce CO2 emissions and usher in a new approach to energy consumption.

The IEA boss pointed to developing countries’ reliance on fossil fuels to power their economies and the reluctance to go green due in part to the associated costs.

“The issue is the emerging countries, developing countries because the bulk of the emissions growth come from Asia and other emerging countries around the world.”

“There is a looming risk of more turbulence for global energy markets. We are not investing enough to meet…future energy needs and the uncertainties are setting the stage for a volatile period ahead.”

Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency



As economies begin recovery from the COVID pandemic, oil prices continue to go up, which will have an inflationary impact.

“As events in 2021 show consumers are vulnerable when prices rise sharply. Volatility and price shocks cannot be discounted during the transition,” read the report.

Birol warned: “There is a looming risk of more turbulence for global energy markets. We are not investing enough to meet…future energy needs and the uncertainties are setting the stage for a volatile period ahead.”

The target to be achieved is net-zero emissions by 2050 and to limit global warning to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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