Energy efficiency can buy 5 years for climate deal

Adopting measures to promote energy efficiency can buy the world an additional five years to seal a climate-protection deal, the International Energy Agency said.

Under current policies, nations need a climate agreement by 2017, when energy infrastructure will probably produce, or lock in, all emissions allowable by 2035 at a level consistent with preventing dangerous global warming, the agency said today in its World Energy Outlook report.

“Rapid deployment of energy-efficient technologies, as in our Efficient-World Scenario, would postpone this complete lock in to 2022, buying time to secure a much-needed global agreement to cut greenhouse-gas emissions,” the agency said.

United Nations envoys from almost 200 nations meet Nov. 26 in Doha to help fix a global climate deal by 2015 for the period starting 2020. Countries have so far failed to agree whether to extend or replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which has emissions targets for some richer nations through this year.

Adopting energy efficiency measures now may allow the world to keep temperatures from rising 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit) or even 2 degrees, the IEA said today.