A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) seeks to bring climate change concerns back on top of the policy agenda by demonstrating that the dilemma can be tackled at no net economic cost. The IEA's Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map report said that carbon dioxide emissions grew at a rate of 1.4 percent in 2012, reaching a record high of 31.6 gigatons released into the atmosphere. The world's average temperatures are on track to increase between 6.5 and 9.5 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, said the IEA, an independent research group established by the world's industrialized nations.
Emissions of greenhouse gases have fallen in the U.S. recently to levels not seen since the mid-1990s, largely because of a natural gas boom that has prompted a shift in power generation away from coal. The IEA report noted "China experienced the largest growth in CO2 emissions, but the increase was one of the lowest it has seen in a decade," driven in part by the greater deployment of renewable energy.
The group recommended curtailing the use and construction of inefficient coal-fired plants and boosting use of renewable energy and natural gas.
To learn more about the IEA's work and this report, visit www.worldenergyoutlook.org/energyclimatemap.