IEA Head Expresses Hope for a Sustainable Energy Future

17 August 2012: Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), has stated that the international goal of limiting the long-term increase of global temperature to 2°C can still be attained, and proposed recommendations for a sustainable energy future.

In a recent visit to Canada, where she also toured the oil/tar sands, she noted that, considering current global trends, carbon dioxide emissions are set to double by 2050. She however stressed that, with concerted action in all energy sectors, it is still possible to reach the global climate target, highlighting successes in the uptake of solar, hydro, biomass and onshore wind, and calling for greater action in the nuclear power and carbon capture and storage sectors.

Van der Hoeven then outlined four recommendations to ensure a future of clean energy, stressing the need: for energy prices to reflect the true cost of energy, which will require the abolishing of fossil fuel subsidies and adequately pricing carbon; for governments to adopt the IEA's energy efficiency policy recommendations; to accelerate energy innovation and public support for research, development and demonstration, as well as promote private sector investment; and to implement the IEA's “Golden Rules” on, inter alia, monitoring environmental impacts and engaging with local communities, in a bid to maintain the viability of a transition to natural gas. [IEA Press Release]