16. International Energy Agency Claims World Average Temperature to Rise 5.3 Degrees Celsius
A new study from the International Energy Agency says emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels rose to record levels last year. Global emissions increased by 1.4 percent, putting the world on pace for a temperature hike of up to 5.3 degrees Celsius, or 9 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than double the 2-degree-Celsius target set by world leaders. The agency’s chief economist called that scenario a “disaster for all countries.”
“Global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 are projected to be nearly 4 billion tons higher than a level consistent with attaining the 2 degree target, highlighting the scale of the challenge still to be tackled just in this decade,” the agency said.
The IEA urged governments to quickly adopt four policies that would ensure climate goals could be reached without harming economic growth. They are: improving energy efficiency in buildings, industry and transport; limiting the construction and use of inefficient power plants; halving methane emissions; and partially phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.
These would reduce global energy-related emissions by 8 percent or 3.1 billion tons of CO2 equivalent in 2020, the IEA said.
“Delaying stronger climate action to 2020 would come at a cost: $1.5 trillion in low-carbon investments are avoided before 2020, but $5 trillion in additional investments would be required thereafter to get back on track,” the IEA said.
International negotiators are meeting in Bonn, Germany, until Friday for U.N. talks aimed at getting a new global climate treaty, which would cut emissions, signed by 2015.
However, the talks got off to a slow start last week due to attempts by three nations to amend one of the meeting’s many agendas to discuss how future decisions should be made.
Scientists say global average temperature rise needs to be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius this century to prevent devastating climate effects like crop failure and melting glaciers.
That would only be possible if emission levels are kept to around 44 billion tons of CO2 equivalent by 2020.