World Energy Outlook 2011 Warns Against Unsustainable Energy Future

9 November 2011: The International Energy Agency's (IEA) annual flagship publication, the “World Energy Outlook 2011,” stresses that increasing investments in high-carbon infrastructure are making the 2°C international climate change goal more challenging and expensive to meet.

The report, which looks at three energy scenarios to 2035, warns that, “Without a bold change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system.” The report underlines that wide divergences between its "Current Polices," and "New Policies Scenarios" stress the critical role governments play in energy production and use by designing and implementing policy.

The report reconfirms the end of cheap oil, anticipates an upcoming “golden age” for natural gas, and sees renewables being pushed towards center stage, with non-hydroelectric renewables alone expected to rise from the 3% of global energy production seen in 2009 to 15% in 2035. In addition, this year's Outlook gives attention to: the Russian Federation's energy prospects and their implications for global markets; uncertainty over nuclear energy; the role of coal in driving economic growth in an emissions-constrained world; continuing high-carbon infrastructure investment and climate change; fossil fuel subsidies and support for renewable energy; and the investments needed to provide modern energy to billions of energy poor people around the world. [IEA Press Release] [Executive Summary] [World Energy Outlook Website]