London — The Paris-based International Energy Agency is working on a global roadmap to bring about rapid cuts to greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, for release this summer, its executive director Fatih Birol said Wednesday.
The additional effort comes as the agency seeks to build a grand coalition of countries to accelerate efforts to reduce emissions, and comes after an IEA report released Tuesday showed that global CO2 emissions from energy stabilized in 2019.
"We are going to come up, just before our July 9 meeting, with a roadmap for the entire world [for] how to bring emissions down between now and 2030 at a very deep reduction," Birol said at a high level ministerial event in Paris.
As part of a grand coalition to cut emissions in energy, the IEA will analyze "which buttons to push with the existing technologies," he said.
"In other words, it's emissions reductions in a hurry. Because we are in a hurry. An early peak is very important. We want 2019 to be the peak year of global emissions," Birol said.
But the agency also wants to provide a long-term vision for the carbon neutrality of the energy sector, he said.
"And here, our guidance will be that we will look at all fuels and all technologies. We don't believe we have the luxury -- given the situation the world is in -- to just exclude this or that technology because we don't like it. Any technology that helps us reduce emissions is welcome, of course, depending on the country," Birol said.
The IEA guarantees it will work with any country genuinely interested in reducing emissions, but the agency must also maintain its central mission to provide energy security, and economic growth is something that all countries would like to see, Birol said.
CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION SUMMIT
The IEA is set to host a clean energy transition event in Paris on July 9, which will bring together energy ministers and business executives. The summit will come ahead of the COP26 UN climate talks hosted by the UK in November.
Wednesday's meeting included energy and climate ministers and representatives from the most recent and upcoming COP climate talks, Poland, Spain and the UK, as well as diplomats from dozens of other countries.
Officials from the three COP host countries said the energy transition must consider the social impacts on communities.
Polish energy and environment secretary Michal Kurtyka, president of the COP24 climate summit in 2018, warned that the energy transition could lead to increased social unrest from civil society groups unless regulators carefully consider how the costs are shared across society.
A large of segment of global emissions come from coal combustion, and coal-dependent Poland has to balance its energy security with clean development, he said.
"When we are considering our climate policy, we must consider our different starting points and different situations. We are talking about a capital intensive effort to meet this climate challenge," he said.
"So we need to engage in a societal dialog. When we are talking about energy, we are talking about transport, industry and agriculture. If we are not able to discuss these issues with societal groups, at every sector, we will be missing something very important," he said.
UK business and energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said the UK was taking an "all fuels, all technologies" approach to energy and climate policy, highlighting the UK's strategic focus on renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and hydrogen as elements of the clean energy transition.
"There is an opportunity to develop low cost, dependable and clean sources of energy. Our job is to make sure this happens, to avoid the real peril of climate change," he told delegates.
"There are huge opportunities from clean growth. In the UK we feel that this is not just about reducing emissions -- important though that is -- it's also about economic opportunities," he said.