Global greenhouse emissions "set to mushroom"

International Energy Agency issues gloomy prognosis at Hague climate summit

World emissions of carbon dioxide are set to rise by 60% between 1997 and 2010 despite climate policies introduced in the last three years, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today. The agency said that its projections "clearly make the case for more, and more decisive, action to avert unwanted climate change".

About two-thirds of the increase in total energy use and associated emissions is set to come from developing countries, the IEA predicts, with the increase from China alone matching all extra emissions from OECD countries.

But industrialised countries are projected to have great difficulty in meeting their Kyoto protocol emission limitation targets. The agency's "reference" scenario - which includes recent climate policy initiatives - foresees North American emissions 42% higher than Kyoto targets by 2010 and gaps of 29% in the OECD Pacific region and 18% in western Europe.

In addition to its reference scenario, the IEA's World Energy Outlook 2000 presents three alternative scenarios "illustrating options" for further climate actions.

An emissions trading case assumes maximum efficient use of Kyoto protocol rules on trading, concluding that countries could cut their compliance costs by between 29% and 63%. A second case assumes much tougher controls on transport emissions and concludes that carbon dioxide from this source could be stabilised after but not before 2010. A third scenario assumes a strong focus on power generation and finds that emissions could be cut by 1.7% from fuel switching from coal to gas, by 2.3% by extending nuclear power stations lives, by 3.2% by increasing use of renewables and by 1% by favouring combined heat and power generation.

Follow Up:
IEA, tel: +33 1 40 57 65 51.

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