Climate Change is the change in climate (i.e. regional temperature, precipitation, extreme weather, etc.) caused by increase in the greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse effect is the process wherein greenhouse gases (such as water vapour, CO2, methane, etc) in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit heat being radiated from the earth, trapping warmth.
Greenhouse Gases refers to gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation (heat).
With energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) representing the majority of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the fight against climate change has become a defining factor for energy policy-making – but the implications are daunting. Meeting the emission goals currently pledged by countries under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would still leave the world some 13.7 billion tonnes of CO2 – or 60% – above the level needed to remain on track with the 2°C goal in 2035. Much additional investment will need to be directed towards lower- CO2 technologies, on supply and end-use sides alike. The benefits that society would reap from these measures, beyond avoided climate impacts, would be of an equal if not larger magnitude than the cost to the energy sector. Meanwhile, energy policy-makers need to start thinking about the impact of committed climate change on the security of the energy sector.
The IEA consequently advises its member countries on ways to develop their energy policies so they effectively address climate change. Part of this work involves teasing out examples of best practice and bringing them to the attention of governments, so they can emulate them. The IEA also maintains a database of its member countries’ policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as databases on energy efficiency and renewable energy policy. Together with the OECD Environment Directorate, the IEA also provides a Secretariat for the Climate Change Expert Group (CCXG) on the UNFCCC, providing technical analysis on issues of relevance to United Nations climate change negotiations.
Energy Technology Perspectives 2012
On 11 June 2012, the IEA launched its most ambitious publication on new developments in energy technology. Energy Technology Perspectives 2012 demonstrates how technologies – from electric vehicles to smart grids – can make a decisive difference in achieving the objective of limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C and enhancing energy security.
ETP2012 presents scenarios and strategies to 2050, with the aim of guiding decision makers on energy trends and what needs to be done to build a clean, secure and competitive energy future.