July 20, 2021 | 10:19 p.m.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Tuesday warned that global CO2 emissions could reach new records in 2023 due to a lack of efforts to improve renewable energy in post-epidemic economic recovery programs.
Countries, especially Western nations, have invested large sums of public money to sustain their economies during epidemics, but only 2% of these resources have gone to renewable energy, according to a study by recovery programs carried out by the IEA.
So far, most of the $ 16 billion announced to tackle the COVID-19 crisis has been earmarked for health activities and support for businesses and families.
Some $ 2.3 trillion was invested in economic recovery, but only $ 380 billion in increasing green energy.
For this reason, “taking into account current public spending estimates, CO2 emissions are on a path that will take them to record levels in 2023 and continue to grow in the coming years.”
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, many governments have stressed the importance of rebuilding for a cleaner future with a better model, but many of them have not yet kept their word,” said Fateh Birol, director of the IEA.
“Not only is the world investing in renewable energy, it is far from the path to allowing carbon neutrality by the middle of the century, but it has not even managed to avoid a new emissions record,” Birol lamented.
Lack of public and private funding. According to estimates by the IEA and the International Monetary Fund in mid-2020, the Paris climate will require an additional $ 1 trillion in green investment per year for three years (energy efficiency, electrification, networks, etc.) as agreed. Contract, which will create nine million jobs.
So far, the measures adopted will represent an additional investment of $ 350 billion annually from 2021 to 2023 – much higher than before COVID, but not enough.
This trend is especially dangerous in developing and developing countries, for example, where increased electricity demand sees its response to coal rather than solar and wind power.
These regions account for only 20% of the investment needed to reduce their emissions, which, according to the report, fears a large gap with rich countries.
In this way, Fatih Birol laments that “many countries are missing out on opportunities that can be gained from the development of clean energy: growth, jobs, and the deployment of future energy industries”, underscoring the commitment of the North to the South.
At COP21 in Paris in 2015, countries pledged to contribute $ 100 billion annually to the climate fund over ten years.