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International Energy Agency under Spotlight as 'poor guide'

written by Joel Kenrick

IEA accused of undermining global shift from fossil fuels: 'The global shift from fossil fuels to renewables is being undermined by the very organisation that ought to be leading the charge, according to a scathing new critique of the International Energy Agency (IEA)' reported The Guardian.

“The IEA provides an energy roadmap that is supposed to lead us to safety, but in fact it takes us over the cliff,” says Greg Muttitt, research director at Oil Change International. “Any government or financial institution that uses these scenarios as a basis for investments in oil and gas is getting seriously bad information. It’s shocking how far off the Paris agreement they are.”

Euractiv write that: 'The IEA’s New Policy Scenario, which is used as the main reference by the Paris-based international agency in its annual World Energy Outlook, implies burning an amount of fossil fuels that is incompatible with the 2°C warming target set out in Paris, according to the report by Oil Change International and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

'Under the IEA’s baseline scenario, the maximum amount of CO2 that humanity can afford to spew out in order to keep global warming within 1.5°C would be exceeded as early as 2022, according to the study. For 2°C, the so-called carbon budget would be exceeded in 2034. In fact, the IEA’s New Policy Scenario would lead to warming of 2.7 to 3.3°C, says the report, called “Off Track”.

'Even the IEA’s more ambitious Sustainable Development Scenario is inconsistent with the Paris goals, the study claims, saying the planet’s “carbon budget” would be exhausted as early as 2023 under a 1.5°C target and by 2040 under a 2°C objective.

'Initially drawn up in 2009 as an indicator to avoid dangerous climate change, the Sustainable Development Scenario was not substantially modified since the Paris Agreement despite a 2017 update, the authors say. It is “a poor guide to policymaking, as it does not reflect governments’ climate goals,” they write.'

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