A leading scientist has said the world’s climate targets are “highly insufficient” to meet climate goals and urged the world to put a halt to new fossil fuel projects.
Speaking in response to the publication of The International Energy Agency (IEA) annual World Energy Outlook report Dr. Rachel Cleetus, a policy director in the Climate and Energy Program and a lead economist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), warned too little was being done to reduce the use of fossil fuels. She added that the global economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had seen countries turning to fossil fuels to power their economic recovery spelling further damage to the planet and efforts to tackle global warming.
“The latest IEA report reaffirms that a sharp, rapid turn away from fossil fuels is critical to limit climate change, which is already causing devastating impacts across the globe and disrupting our energy system,” Cleetus said. “The world is currently far off track, with an unsustainable economic recovery set to drive the second largest annual increase in carbon emissions this year. Soberingly, the emission reduction pledges announced by countries to date are highly insufficient to meet global climate goals.”
She added time was of the essence adding the IEA’s publication was a timely alarm on the need to tackle the ongoing use of fossil fuels
“There’s no time to waste for governments to implement bold policies and make robust investments that will drive deep reductions in heat-trapping emissions within this decade and beyond,” Cleetus continued. “Ensuring a fair transition for dislocated fossil fuel industry workers and cleaning up legacy fossil fuel pollution must go hand-in-hand with creating a thriving, equitable and safe clean energy economy.
“We can’t afford to let the fossil fuel industry and its political allies stymie the changes our energy system and economy require, as people around the world continue to face worsening floods, wildfires, droughts, heatwaves and storms.”