IEA welcomes Copenhagen Accord but calls for more efforts

22 December 2009

The International Energy Agency welcomes the Copenhagen Accord, which provides guidance on the next steps towards a legally binding agreement on climate change. The Accord provides a clear environmental goal of limiting the increase in global temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. It calls for emissions to peak as early as possible as well as a collective commitment by developed countries to financially support developing country actions in mitigation and adaptation. It also lays out the foundation for support to developing country actions, over and above their unilateral actions. The IEA estimates that developing countries will need to invest around USD 200 billion annually by 2020 to move to a less carbon-intensive energy system. The USD 100 billion pledged by developed countries is a significant contribution towards that goal.

However, IEA calculations show that emission reduction pledges to date fall short of what is needed to limit the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million (ppm) of CO2-equivalent, in line with a 2 degrees C increase. The IEA has produced a blueprint to reach the 450 ppm goal in the energy sector (see World Energy Outloook 2009), and in the first half of 2010 will assess the possible gap between countries’ commitments and actions under the Copenhagen Accord and this goal. The Agency will work with all countries to ensure that best energy and climate policy practice is widely shared and can be put to work to reach a higher level of ambition at least cost for society. The IEA will continue its ground-breaking work in areas such as energy efficiency, carbon pricing through market mechanisms and other means, as well as research, development and deployment of low-carbon energy technologies. By demonstrating the effectiveness and benefits of such actions on energy security, economic performance, local environment and climate change, the IEA hopes to encourage all countries towards significant pledges on future greenhouse gas emissions that will lead to meaningful reductions.

Climate policy is an integral part of the energy policy portfolio. The IEA intends to ensure coherence between environmental, economic and security goals, which is crucial to an effective climate policy response.