Both the pope and the IEA have called for climate action this week. Whilst both have been saying the same type of thing they have been saying it in very different ways. The pope’s encyclical is apparently more about the moral case for climate action. I have not read it yet but will be writing a blog post on it when I have done so. The IEA is suggesting a technocratic approach. The IEA wants to see four general outcomes these are;
- A peak in global emissions by 2020.
- A five-yearly revision of targets set out in Paris to see how things go and “raise ambition”.
- “Lock in the vision” a long-term goal on emissions, this would effectively set a global carbon budget.
- Monitoring emissions and fossil fuel use in the energy sector. The IEA suggest some ways of climate action here such as reducing leakage of methane in oil and gas extraction (easy to stop apparently but few bother), to more difficult such as phasing out old coal powered power stations and a huge in increase in renewables and energy efficiency
On the positive side the IEA see a huge reduction in the costs of solar PV and electric vehicles by 2040 with most of the cost reductions in both happening in the next 5 years (see IEA graphs below). They also note that emissions fell last year when the global economy grew – a first.