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article imageTwo reports, one conclusion — Energy shift must start now

By Karen Graham     Mar 20, 2017 in Environment
Berlin - If the world wants to prevent a dangerous increase in global temperatures, all countries must shift away from energy production using fossil fuels, according to two separate international reports.
The reports were released on Monday by two international agencies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), according to CTV News.
Both reports were in fundamental agreement that changing the way the world produces power would require considerable investment, while in the long-term, there would be savings due to improvements in energy efficiency.
Both agencies, the IEA and IRENA, were asked to prepare reports outlining scenarios that would keep global average temperature increases below 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), compared with preindustrial times in advance of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue meeting being held in Berlin, Germany March 19-23, 2017.
The International Energy Agency report
In the IEA report, they say that in order to ensure at least a two-thirds chance of keeping global temperatures below the 2.0 degree Celsius mark, "would require an unparalleled ramp up of all low-carbon technologies in all countries."
The IEA report mentions a number of measures that would include, "the rapid phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, CO2 prices rising to unprecedented levels, extensive energy market reforms, and stringent low-carbon and energy efficiency mandates would be needed to achieve this transition."
"Such policies would need to be introduced immediately and comprehensively across all countries," the IEA added, according to ABC News.
The International Renewable Energy Agency report
The IRENA report concludes that "early action is critical" and failure to act swiftly will only increase costs later. “We are in a good position to transform the global energy system but success will depend on urgent action, as delays will raise the costs of decarbonisation," says the report.
And while the IRENA report does agree that decarbonization globally will be at a substantial cost, the report also suggests that such investments would create a stimulus that, together with other pro-growth policies, will: "boost global GDP by 0.8% in 2050;
generate new jobs in the renewable energy sector that would more than offset job losses in the fossil fuel industry, with further jobs being created by energy efficiency activities, and;
improve human welfare through important additional environmental and health benefits thanks to reduced air pollution."
The IRENA report suggests that more jobs will be created than lost with a switch over to renewables and also differs from the IEA report on the extent to which fossil fuels would continue to be used, especially natural gas.
The coming Berlin meeting is expected to draw over 1,000 participants and comes at a time when the world is uncertain of the role the United States will play in international efforts to control global warming. President Trump has already shown where he stands on the issue by rolling back numerous climate change initiatives and commitments made by the Obama administration.
More about two reports, energy shift, Fossil fuels, Iea, IRENA
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