"World leaders gathering in Copenhagen next month for the UN Climate summit have a historic opportunity to avert the worst effects of climate change. The World Energy Outlook 2009 seeks to add momentum to their negotiations at this crucial stage by detailing the practical steps needed for a sustainable energy future as part of a global climate deal,” said Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency today in London at the launch of the new WEO – the annual flagship publication of the IEA.
Although, as one of the consequences of the financial crisis, global energy use is set to fall this year, the World Energy Outlook 2009 projects that it will soon resume its upward trend if government policies don’t change. In this Reference Scenario, demand increases by 40% between now and 2030, reaching 16.8 billion tonnes of oil equivalent. Projected global demand is lower than in last year’s report, reflecting the impact of the economic crisis and of new government policies introduced over the past year. Fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix, accounting for more than three-quarters of incremental demand. Non-OECD countries account for over 90% of this increase, and China and India alone for over half.
The World Energy Outlook 2009 demonstrates that containing climate change is possible but will require a profound transformation of the energy sector. A 450 Scenario sets out an aggressive timetable of actions needed to limit the long-term concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to 450 parts per million of carbon-dioxide equivalent and keep the global temperature rise to around 2°C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this scenario, fossil-fuel demand would need to peak by 2020 and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to fall to 26.4 gigatonnes in 2030 from 28.8 Gt in 2007.