Speaking at the international climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa, International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven called on countries to step up their efforts to avert climate change, encouraging them to adopt low-carbon solutions to secure their energy future.
According to the IEA, if bold policy actions are not put in place over the next several years, it will become increasingly difficult and costly to meet the goal set at last year's talks of limiting a global temperature increase to 2 degrees C.
van der Hoeven noted that the IEA has identified many policy tools that countries can use to both enhance their energy security and reduce carbon emissions, including the following:
- Standards on energy-using equipment such as cars or electric appliances;
- Cost-effective measures to deploy renewables, with care given to their impact on security of supply; and
- A price on carbon, including through tradable CO2 emissions quotas, used in the EU and Australia, and actively being promoted in China and elsewhere.
van der Hoeven also said that while industrialized nations have already pledged $100 billion for low-carbon investments in emerging economies, financing remains a key challenge. However, the big emerging economies – including Brazil, Russia, India and China – can and should implement sound policies that tap domestic funding sources and direct them to low-carbon investments that promote energy security, she added.