The International Energy Agency said the world’s countries must immediately stop exploiting new oil and gas fields and building new coal-fired power plants, if global temperatures are to be kept within safe limits and 2050 net-zero targets are to be met, in a wide-ranging report issued today.
This is the first time the leading energy agency, which laid out a roadmap for how to accomplish the dramatic cuts, has called for such dramatic action. “It’s a huge shift in messaging if they’re saying there’s no need to invest in new fossil fuel supply,” Kelly Trout, senior research analyst at Oil Change International, told the New York Times.
IEA executive director Fatih Birol emphasized the urgent need for aggressive action to slash emissions. “If governments are serious about the climate crisis, there can be no new investments in oil, gas, and coal, from now — from this year,” he told the Guardian. “More and more countries are coming up with net-zero commitments, which is very good, but I see a huge and growing gap between the rhetoric [from governments] and the reality.”