Fact sheet

Why International Energy Agency projections should not be misinterpreted as forecasts

Climate change Renewable energy Energy resources Australia

The International Energy Agency’s annual energy projections, the World Energy Outlook (WEO), are a leading source for medium to long-term energy market modelling, which are widely used as an authoritative source by politicians, industry and the media. However, the scenarios within these projections are regularly misunderstood and misused, both accidentally and deliberately.

Under the Paris Agreement, Australia and a host of other countries, have committed to limit global warming to well below 2°C and pursue limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

It is therefore important, in Australia’s fraught climate and energy debate, to understand the limits of the IEA projections, and the implications of each scenario within them, for global warming and what this means for Australia’s national interest.

This factsheet explores:

  • IEA scenarios and what they represent
  • Misuse of IEA scenarios
  • IEA underestimating renewables
  • Implications for Australia’s national interest
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