You probably won’t be surprised to hear that energy policy is way off course around the world. At the Paris climate conference, governments committed to reducing emissions to try to hold the rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. Four years later, global emissions are increasing — and if nations’ energy policies are any guide, they will end up driving temperatures far above the Paris goal.
That’s hardly new. What’s important is who is saying it this week: the International Energy Agency, the Paris-based global data source and think tank established and funded by more than fifty governments, including Australia, as the world’s authoritative source of advice on energy policy.
The IEA’s annual flagship review, World Energy Outlook 2019, puts it bluntly. On current policies, the world is on track for a “relentless upward march in energy-related emissions, as well as growing strains on almost all aspects of energy security.” Even governments’ stated policies, including promised changes in future, would merely slow that growth a little, leaving the world far short of meeting its goals in 2040.
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