The major milestone achieved at COP21 for greenhouse-gases is still far short of what is required to tackle other air pollutants that cause millions of premature deaths and cost the global economy trillions of dollars each year. There is a clear and urgent need improve air quality, and the energy sector is the largest source of air pollution resulting from human activity. Many of the world’s cities are suffering from the concentrated use of energy services that emit air pollution, in particular from transport (but also industry, power generation etc.), while many of the poorest rural communities are particularly exposed to toxic fumes as they use polluting solid fuels to cook food and boil water. In short, communities around the world (in developing and developed countries) are confronted by a reality that falls far short of recommended air quality standards. As the world’s population grows, cities swell and demand for mobility and other energy services surges, the already intolerable costs of poor air quality risk increasing dramatically.
While the huge cost of air pollution begs for an urgent and strong response, a lack of awareness and understanding of the role of energy policies and technologies in addressing this critical issue must be overcome, and then coupled with guidance on the means to address it. In recognition of both the gravity of the issue and the importance of the energy sector in its resolution, the International Energy Agency (IEA) is to publish its first special report on the role of the energy sector in air quality around the world. The special report will be part of the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook (WEO) series, which presents authoritative energy market analysis and projections, including critical insights into trends in energy demand and supply and what they mean for energy security, environmental protection and economic development. The primary objective of this WEO-2016 special report is to make clear to decision-makers the critical role and responsibility that the energy sector has in tackling local air pollution, to provide new analysis that helps policymakers evaluate different policy paths (including the co-benefits and trade-offs with respect to other energy and climate objectives) and to provide clear recommendations for future action. The WEO-2016 special report will be released in June 2016.
As part of this study, the IEA will host an international workshop to draw insights from a range of distinguished experts from governments, energy companies, international organisations, academia and civil society. Specifically, the aim of the workshop is to inform WEO analysis in the following areas:
• Provide a clear, evidence-based explanation of the role played by different parts of the energy sector in causing air pollution
• Present detailed projections of the energy sector and related air quality pathways in different countries and sectors, based on known energy, climate and air quality policies, and the key implications for policymakers
• Identify additional policy measures that can materially improve the outlook for energy-related air pollution, examining both the co-benefits and trade-offs with other energy and climate objectives
• Based on analysis of different policy options, distil the key findings of the report into a clear set of implications and recommendations for policymakers
The results of this workshop will provide essential input to shape the analysis, key findings and messages of the World Energy Outlook special report. The meeting will be informal in nature and held under the Chatham House Rule, according to which participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed. Each session will be introduced by invited experts and followed by an open roundtable discussion..
Attendance is by invitation only.