The Oklahoman

Agency urges bigger push to cut emissions

- David McHugh

FRANKFURT, Germany – The Internatio­nal Energy Agency is urging government­s to make stronger commitment­s to cut greenhouse gas emissions at an upcoming U.N. climate summit, warning that the world is not on track to meet environmen­tal goals and that new investment in clean energy is needed to “jolt the energy system onto a new set of rails.”

The IEA said Wednesday in its annual world energy outlook that great strides have been made to move away from fossil fuels by relying on more wind and solar energy, while electric vehicles are setting sales records.

But the economic rebound from the pandemic also has seen an increase in the use of coal and oil, the report said, as well as a leap in emissions. Burning fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that scientists blame for climate change.

“The world’s hugely encouragin­g clean energy momentum is running up against the stubborn incumbency of fossil fuels in our energy systems,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the 30-country IEA.

Government­s at the summit needed to “give a clear and unmistakab­le signal that they are committed to rapidly scaling up the clean and resilient technologi­es of the future. The social and economic benefits of accelerati­ng clean energy transition­s are huge, and the costs of inaction are immense.”

The report said the recovery puts strains on parts of the energy system, leading to sharp rises in prices for natural gas, coal and electricit­y as worldwide energy demand is set to regain the ground lost last year during the pandemic.

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