IEA floats ‘green recovery’ plan

Paris: The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday unveiled a three-year, post-pandemic master plan to simultaneously salvage the global economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Drawn up jointly with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the 2021-2023 blueprint aims — in each of those years — to boost GDP growth 1.1 percent, “save or create” nine million jobs, and slash CO2 emissions by 1.5 billion tonnes.

Total CO2 emissions last year from fossil fuel and industry was about 37 billion tonnes.

Hitting those targets will require investments of about $1 trillion (900 billion euros) annually over the three year period, the IEA has calculated.

“A cleaner, fairer and more secure energy future is within our reach,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, adding that world leaders have a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to reboot their economies and tackle global warming at the same time.

But those goals continue to pull against each other, Birol acknowledged, pointing to lessons learned from the global recession triggered by the collapse of the US housing market.

“When we look at the 2008 financial crisis, we see that global emissions declined in 2009,” Birol told journalists by phone.

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