Oil Change International, 350.org, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, Friends of the Earth Europe, Global Witness, Greenpeace USA, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and urgewald.
The latest climate science and rapidly changing energy markets indicate the need to rapidly shift away from fossil gas, yet the IEA mistakenly presents gas as compatible with a decarbonized future. This policy brief brings together the latest energy market research with the need for reform of the World Energy Outlook.
With its over reliance on natural gas, the International Energy Agency’s flagship World Energy Outlook (WEO) promotes an energy scenario that will exhaust a global 1.5°C carbon budget by the early 2030s. The Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), despite its name, only provides a chance of limiting warming to 1.7 to 1.8 degrees Celsius. A year after the IPCC special report on 1.5°C exposed how damaging warming at these levels or beyond will be, advocates are calling on the IEA to chart a path to safer levels of warming with greater certainty.
The briefing note outlines three key recommendations for the IEA to pursue in order to better map out a sustainable energy pathway. They include:
- Align the Sustainable Development Scenario with the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C and adopt a precautionary approach to the use of negative emissions technologies;
- Align IEA communications and policy recommendations on gas production and consumption with the implications of a fully Paris-aligned scenario; and
- Focus the WEO on a strengthened version of the Sustainable Development Scenario, instead of the business-as-usual path (formerly the New Policies Scenario, now expected to be named the Stated Policies Scenario) which ensures climate collapse.
The IEA has demonstrated its capacity for reform in the past. It has the opportunity to rise to the challenge of guiding the world to a more secure and sustainable energy future. Following these recommendations would help ensure that the IEA remains relevant as the world moves to rapidly transition away from fossil fuel dependence.