Trillions of dollars needed to cut climate change

World leaders will need to invest more than $10 trillion to halt climate change by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The World Energy Outlook 2009, the annual flagship publication from the IEA, was presented by Nobuo Tanaka, executive director of the agency in London this week.

Mr Tanaka believes this huge investment will be more than offset through savings in transport, buildings and health care.

While pointing out energy use has fallen in the past 12 months, as a result of the economic downturn, Mr Tanaka fears it will 'soon resume its upward trend if government policies don't change'.

If policies don't change Mr Tanaka sees a 'reference situation' where demand will increase by 40% between now and 2030.

He said: "The cumulative incremental investment of $10.5 trillion is needed in low-carbon energy technologies and energy efficiency by 2030.

"In addition to avoiding severe climate change, this cost is largely offset by economic, health and energy-security benefits.

"Energy bills in transport, buildings and industry alone are reduced by $8.6 trillion globally over the period 2010-2030."

He also highlighted the energy poverty challenge with 1.3 billion people still without electricity in 2030, a small decrease from 1.5 billion today.

He said: "Universal access could be achieved with investment of only $35 billion per year in 2008-2030."

Luke Walsh


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