Energy Agency Makes Case for Climate-Wise Energy Steps 

By Andrew Revkin | The New York Times: 

The International Energy Agency today released a helpful report that charts four climate-wise (if fairly familiar) actions countries can pursue to make a difference in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2020. There’s a low bar to entry, the agency noted, saying these steps “can deliver significant emissions reductions by 2020, rely only on existing technologies and have already been adopted successfully in several countries.” Here are the four core points, followed by a slide show and related links:

– Targeted energy efficiency measures in buildings, industry and transport account for nearly half the emissions reduction in 2020, with the additional investment required being more than offset by reduced spending on fuel bills. [Here’s more on the efficiency opportunities in the United States and a reality check on what’s possible.]

– Limiting the construction and use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants delivers more than 20% of the emissions reduction and helps curb local air pollution. The share of power generation from renewables increases (from around 20% today to 27% in 2020), as does that from natural gas. [Background from The Times here and World Bank here.]

– Actions to halve expected methane (a potent greenhouse gas) releases into the atmosphere from the upstream oil and gas industry in 2020 provide 18% of the savings. [One success story described on Dot Earth in 2009.]

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