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IEA worried about emissions once COVID crisis abates

Rising consumption in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is set to drive greenhouse gas emissions to all-time highs, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday.

“We estimate that full and timely implementation of the economic recovery measures announced to date would result in CO2 emissions climbing to record levels in 2023, continuing to rise thereafter,” it said.

Governments worldwide have allocated around $380 billion on clean energy measures as of the second quarter of 2021 — representing about 2 percent of the total fiscal support in response to COVID-19, the Paris based body said in a report.

It coincides with a major push by global oil companies to reduce emissions and invest in the renewables sector.

The IEA estimates that government spending and new policies put in place since last year are expected to add an extra $350 billion a year to clean energy and electricity network spending between 2021 and 2023.

Although this represents an increase of 30 percent over the levels seen in recent years it is still only 35 percent of the amount envisaged by the IEA Sustainable Recovery Plan to put the world on track for net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Since COVID-19 crisis erupted, many governments may have talked about the importance of building back better for a cleaner future, but many of them are yet to put their money where their mouth is,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

The IEA said investment proposals from G20 nations would likely meet about 60 percent of the spending needed to allow the Paris temperature goals to be attainable.

Among developing nations, that dropped to 20 percent.

Last month the IEA published its clean investment report, which found that annual green investment would need to rise to more than $1 trillion by 2030 from less than $150 billion in 2020 if the world is to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Source: Arab News

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