Energy agency: carbon dioxide emissions at record high in 2012

energy agency: carbon dioxide emissions at record high in 2012

This was announced by the international energy agency (IEA) in london on monday. "We are losing sight of our goal of global warming of no more than two degrees celsius," said IEA chief economist fatih birol.

If there is no rethinking, the world is heading for a warming of about four degrees celsius by 2100, or even up to 5.3 percent in the worst case scenario. "It’s not like you can just take your jacket off and then it’s pleasant again," birol said, alluding to the consequences.

There are encouraging signs from china and the USA, he said. In the united states, a decisive shift from coal to gas-fired power generation has brought emissions down to mid-1990s levels, he said.

In china, at least, the increase in greenhouse gas emissions was halved last year compared to the previous year, to 3.8 percent. "But we are still a long way from reaching our goal," said IEA executive director maria van der hoeven. The IEA advises 28 governments around the world, including the german federal government and the weibe haus, on energy issues.

Europe gives cause for increased concern, said birol. According to the report, germany increased its carbon dioxide emissions by 2.2 percent in 2012, the uk by as much as 4.5 percent. The main reason is the low price of coal.

In japan, too, the replacement of nuclear energy with coal increased after the fukushima accident. Overall, however, the number of employees in europe was reduced by 1.4 percent last year due to the economic crisis. At the same time, however, investment in renewable energies also declined in 2012.

The international energy agency believes that the world can return to the two percent target without economic downside.

Efficient energy-saving measures had to be taken, both in buildings and in industrial production. New construction of coal-fired power plants had to be limited, the least efficient ones had to be taken off the grid. 18 percent of the savings target alone could be achieved if oil and gas companies did not release unnecessary methane into the atmosphere during the extraction of raw materials.

Twelve percent could be saved if governments stopped subsidizing the use of fossil fuels, at least in part. "All this is possible with existing technologies and with measures that are already taking effect in individual countries," said birol.

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