The International Energy Agency (IEA) likes to see itself as a bit of a climate champion. It has often warned, for example, that governments would need to do more to avoid dangerous climate change. In practice though, the IEA is more of a barrier than a helping hand, and the reason is its flagship publication, the World Energy Outlook. The latest instalment was published today. Every year, the WEO maps out the future of energy, focused on a future where governments implement specific policies they have already planned, and no more: the so-called New Policies Scenario. Remarkably, the scenario falls short of even the formal emissions pledges countries have made (known as Nationally Determined Contributions – NDCs – under the Paris Agreements. Instead, the IEA assumes only that “many countries make progress towards the achievement of their NDCs”. At best it’s a very selective reading of which policies to include. Governments and investors routinely look to the WEO when they make decisions, using it as their guide to the future. So power plants, pipelines and other infrastructure get built based on what the IEA says future demand will be.
Renew Economy 20th Nov 2017 read more »