Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Global Temperature to Rise 3.5 Degrees C. by 2035: International Energy Agency

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Global Temperature to Rise 3.5 Degrees C. by 2035: International Energy Agency

Article excerpt

Unless governments cut subsidies for fossil fuels and adopt new policies to support renewable energy sources, the Copenhagen Accord to hold global warming to less than a 2-degree increase will not be reached.

Global temperatures are projected rise 3.5 degrees C. over the next 25 years, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday, meaning that governments worldwide will have failed in their pledge to hold global temperature at a 2-degree increase.

But there's hope yet, says Fatih Birol, the chief economist for the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

If governments remove subsidies for fossil fuels and increase investments in renewable energy to make them cost competitive, then the Copenhagen Accord can still be upheld. The voice of guarded optimism comes just ahead of a summit starting Nov. 29 in Cancun, Mexico, for another round of climate talks.

"Renewable energies need substantial subsidies from governments," Dr. Birol said in a telephone interview. "The important task [for governments] is to decide whether they will support energy renewables in the future. It could be bad news for energy security and climate change if they don't."

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None of that may be surprising, considering the 28-nation Copenhagen Accord signed in December 2009 was not legally binding and also fell short of recommendations from the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for how to prevent temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C. Yet if global warming is going to be curtailed, then governments must support the development and use of renewable energy.

"Renewable energy can play a central role in reducing carbon- dioxide emissions and diversifying energy supplies, but only if strong and sustained support is made available," IEA executive director Nobuo Tanaka said in a statement upon Tuesday's release of the 2010 World Energy Outlook.

The IEA projects global energy demand to surge 36 percent over the next 25 years. …

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