Thursday

15th Nov 2018

Global energy body voices concern on security, CO2

  • Coal plant in Germany: the CO2-heavy fuel will still be 25% of the global energy mix in 2040 (Photo: Frank Kehren)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has voiced concern on security of supply, greenhouse gas emissions, and the future of nuclear power over the next two decades.

“The global energy system is in danger of falling short of the hopes and expectations placed upon it”, the Paris-based intergovernmental body said in its annual World Energy Outlook, published on Wednesday (12 November).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The report contains projections up to 2040.

It expects world energy demand to increase by 37 percent by that year. Most of the growth in demand will come from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

“By 2040, the world’s energy supply mix divides into four almost-equal parts: oil, gas, coal, and low-carbon sources.”

Low-carbon sources include renewable energy like wind and solar power, but also nuclear power.

Energy security is under pressure because of the Russia-Ukraine crisis and because unrest in the Middle East “has rarely been greater [than] since the oil shocks in the 1970s”.

The IEA also raised the alarm on the world's ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which feed global warming.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates the world cannot emit more than 1,000 gigatonnes of CO2 if it is to limit the global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

“This entire budget [of 1,000 gigatonnes] will be used up by 2040 in our central scenario”, the IEA noted.

“Since emissions are not going to drop suddenly to zero once this point is reached, it is clear that the 2 °C objective requires urgent action to steer the energy system onto a safer path.”

Otherwise, the world is “on a path consistent with a long-term global average temperature increase of 3.6 °C”.

At the end of 2015 in Paris, world leaders hope to reach agreement on binding targets to reduce greenhouse emissions.

But the IEA remarked that the “point of departure for the climate negotiations, due to reach a climax in 2015, is not encouraging”.

It also said that by 2040 nuclear power generation in the EU will fall by 10 percent and “the challenge to replace the shortfall in generation [with alternative sources] is especially acute in Europe”.

Several European countries are phasing out nuclear plants.

Of the 434 facilities which were operational last year, almost 200 will be shut down in the coming 26 years.

The decommissioning will cost over $100 billion, the IEA calculates, advising governments and companies to start budgeting for the changes.

“Considerable uncertainties remain about these costs, reflecting the relatively limited experience to date in dismantling and decontaminating reactors and restoring sites for other uses”.

The International Energy Agency was founded 40 years ago, after the Middle East oil crises. It has 29 member states, 20 of them EU members.

Opinion

EU urgently needs real energy union

Rising risks from beyond our borders and challenges from within can be tackled in a comprehensive approach to the EU's energy needs.

No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt

British PM Theresa May battles for survival as she faces calls for her resignation and the rebellion of several ministers who resigned over the draft Brexit deal - which the EU is preparing to sign later this month.

Analysis

Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)

The main points of the Brexit withdrawal deal between London and Brussels dissected. Although the EU is preparing to sign the agreement, the UK government has been rocked by resignations since its publication less than 24 hours ago.

News in Brief

  1. UK's May defends Brexit deal to MPs, after ministers resign
  2. Brexit MP calls for 'no confidence' vote on May
  3. Denmark blocks Tanzania aid over homophobic crackdown
  4. Second UK cabinet minister resigns over Brexit deal
  5. UK Brexit secretary quits morning after deal agreed
  6. Romanian MPs call for national 'Magnitsky Act'
  7. Tusk: Brexit summit on Sunday 25 November
  8. Full text of Brexit withdrawal agreement published

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM put Orban on spot

Authorities in Budapest confirmed the former prime minister of Macedonia, fleeing a jail sentence in his own country, has filed for asylum. Despite Hungary's strict asylum laws, the pro-Kremlin politician was not turned away.

Merkel calls for 'real, true' EU army

Angela Merkel's much-anticipated speech to the European Parliament was brief and to the point. Her message: Europe is alone in the world, the EU should be more united on defence, but not on the economy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. No-confidence calls against May put Brexit deal in doubt
  2. Key points of the Brexit deal (if it ever comes into effect)
  3. Romania heaps scorn on 'revolting' EU criticism
  4. US steps in to clean up Cyprus
  5. 'Decisive progress' on Brexit as British cabinet backs deal
  6. Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM put Orban on spot
  7. How the 'EU's Bank' fails to raise the bar on accountability
  8. Knives out on all sides for draft Brexit deal

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us