Despite a lack of optimism in Warsaw, IEA report shows we can still cut our emissions sharply, but only by making serious policy decisions now.
Could the most obvious future energy choice be the fuel we don’t use? The IEA’s inaugural Energy Efficiency Market Report reveals a market with investment levels on par with fossil fuels and renewables, and begs the question: should energy efficiency be considered the world’s ‘hidden fuel’ or ‘first fuel’?
The IEA last year said if the world wanted to meet climate targets, it would have to leave two thirds of its fossil fuels in the ground. So what does unburnable carbon mean for oil and gas giants? HSBC crunches the numbers and says up to 60 per cent of the value of fossil fuel companies could be at risk.
Emissions controls will not be the only factor influencing our choice of future energy sources. The IEA and private analysts have pointed to the impending water crisis which could lead to stranded assets – particularly in coal and shale gas – and accelerate the push towards ‘dry’ technologies, like wind and solar PV.