Radical action needed to decarbonise world energy supply

More needs to be done to keep the global temperature rise to below two degrees.

Picture: Freeimages

LONDON - More radical action is needed to decarbonise the world's energy supply and improve energy efficiency to keep the global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius, the Energy Transitions Commission (ETC) said on Wednesday.

The ETC is made up of global experts from energy companies, the investment sector, public and academic institutions and foundations and aims to identify ways to change the world's energy systems to low-carbon sources.

The ETC commissioned consultancy Ecofys to analyse the national climate plans of 17 countries and regions which account for 78 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.

Those countries are China, United States, India, Russia, Japan, Iran, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Vietnam, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the European Union.

The plans, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), are the building blocks of a landmark deal reached in Paris last December to limit the rise in global average temperature to "well below" two degrees Celsius this century.

To keep below two degrees, the share of low-carbon energy sources in the global energy supply mix needs to rise at least one percentage point a year and energy productivity needs to grow at a minimum of three percent a year, the report said.

"The 17 INDCs analysed show an increase in the use of low-carbon energy of only 0.4 percentage points per year and improvements in energy productivity by just 1.8 percent per year, far below what is required," said Adair Turner, chairman of the ETC.

"A far faster transition is needed to achieve the 'well below' 2 degree goal. We must focus not only on decarbonising power, but also on taking the carbon out of other energy supply and dramatically increasing global energy productivity improvement," he added.

Last week, 175 nations took the first step of signing the Paris Agreement but scientists have said current INDCs are not enough to keep warming below two degrees.