Durban, South Africa. 6th December – International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven has called on countries to step up efforts to avert climate change by addressing their energy security concerns in a sustainable manner.

Speaking Tuesday during the second week of the UN conference on Climate Change here, Van der Hoeven urged countries not to wait for a comprehensive deal on climate but rather to act now to meet growing demand for energy with secure, low-carbon solutions.

“The door to achieving our objectives is rapidly closing and while I strongly urge an agreement on emissions, I have a simple message for the participants in these talks: Don’t wait for a global deal. Act now. You can and should implement robust policies that will give your citizens affordable, reliable access to energy in a sustainable way,” Ms. Van der Hoeven told a press conference.

The IEA’s annual World Energy Outlook, released in November, sent a stark message to participants at the COP 17 climate negotiations in Durban that the world is locking itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system. 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 in Cancun, Mexico of limiting a global temperature increase to 2 degrees C.

The Executive Director noted that the IEA has identified many policy tools that countries can use to both enhance their energy security and reduce carbon emissions.

Such tools include 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.


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