In case you missed it, yesterday the International Energy Agency released its hallmark report, World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2019. If the resultant press coverage and social media traffic was any indication, there are growing concerns over the inadequacy of the WEO.
Yesterday, millions of Canadians headed to the polls and knocked the Liberals’ majority government down to minority status. This was a clear signal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his party that voters expect more and better action from a Liberal government to confront the climate crisis.
For IEA scenario reform, the devil is in the details. The IEA must develop a 1.5°C scenario that is aligned with the goals of the Paris climate agreement and address the concerns of key WEO users. Anything less would be easy to discount as greenwashing or another example of the pro-fossil fuel bias at the IEA.
When it comes to making decisions on expensive and complex energy infrastructure, investors, governments, and companies look decades into the future. Unfortunately for action on climate change, the IEA’s World Energy Outlook has a strong status quo bias.