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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:39 AM

Clean Energy Lags Put World on Pace for 6 Degrees Celsius of Global Warming


LONDON -- The world is far behind on delivering the low-carbon energy it needs, and unless urgent action is taken, calamitous climate change is certain, the International Energy Agency told a meeting yesterday of energy ministers whose countries account for 80 percent of global energy demand.

An executive of the world energy watchdog said that renewable power was on track to stop the planet from tipping into the climatic unknown and that industry and transportation had made some progress but had significant room for improvement. But he asserted that all other sectors, including carbon capture and storage, the drive for clean coal, nuclear energy and biofuels, were falling behind the timelines needed to minimize global warming.

"Under current policies, we estimate that energy use and CO2 emissions would increase by a third by 2020 and almost double by 2050. This would likely send global temperatures at least 6 degrees Celsius [10.8 degrees Fahrenheit] higher. Such an outcome would confront future generations with significant economic, environmental and energy security hardships -- a legacy that I know none of us wants to leave behind," IEA deputy executive director Richard Jones told the opening session of the Clean Energy Ministerial meeting, jointly hosted by the United Kingdom and the United States.

"Transitioning to clean energy will be essential to reaching our common energy security, economic development and sustainability goals," Jones told the ministers from more than 20 countries.

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