Covid-19 recovery to push emissions to all-time high: International Energy Agency

The International Energy Agency estimates economic recovery measures would result in record level CO2 emissions in 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - The global rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic is set to drive emissions of greenhouse gases that stoke climate change to all-time highs, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in a report on Tuesday (July 20).

"We estimate that full and timely implementation of the economic recovery measures announced to date would result in CO2 emissions climbing to record levels in 2023, continuing to rise thereafter," it said.

Spending plans for clean energy allocated by governments around the world in the second quarter of this year add up to US$380 billion (S$519 billion), making up just 2 per cent of their total stimulus funds in response to the pandemic, the IEA said.

The energy watchdog said the figure represented around a third of what it envisioned was needed in order to put the world on course to reach net zero emissions by mid-century.

"(Countries) must then go even further by leading clean energy investment and deployment to much greater heights beyond the recovery period in order to shift the world on to a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050, which is narrow but still achievable - if we act now," IEA chief Fatih Birol wrote.

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