IEA suggests all energy investment must rise 

THE International Energy Agency has found investments in renewable energy need to rise for the world to meet its Paris climate commitments. 
IEA suggests all energy investment must rise  IEA suggests all energy investment must rise  IEA suggests all energy investment must rise  IEA suggests all energy investment must rise  IEA suggests all energy investment must rise 

Helen Clark


The IEA's fourth World Energy Investment overview found spending on upstream oil and gas rose 4% last year globally and investment in coal sources rose 2%, its first rise since 2012. 
Investment in renewables globally dropped 2% last year. 
Global investment in all energy including electricity held steady at US$1.85 trillion. 
"Governments have not clearly committed, nor have they clearly not committed, to reaching the Paris Agreement goals," analyst Mike Waldron said at a press conference. 
That commitment is to keep warming at 2 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels, though a UN report of late last year suggested to avoid an increasing number of catastrophic weather events that cap needs to be lowered to 1.5C, something industry remains hesitant about. 
For 1.5C to be realistic CO2 emissions must drop by 45% in the next decade and the planet must reach net zero by 2050.  
A report from the body, which Australia is a member of, from earlier this year found emissions had risen sharply in 2018 thanks to lower energy efficiency and higher and lower temperature spikes overall but that renewables, nuclear and gas had replaced potentially hundreds of millions of tonnes of carbon from coal-fired generation. 
Gas displaced 95Mmt of CO2, a figure both Santos and Woodside pointed to at their annual general meetings when questioned by shareholders and proxies over climate commitments. 
At the same time despite the increase in spend last year investors globally  are backing shorter term projects in the absence of clear policy and investment is too low across all energy sources to meet predicted increases in demand. 
"The world in not investing enough in traditional elements of supply to maintain today's consumption patterns," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said. 
"Nor is it investing enough in cleaner energy technologies to change course. Whichever way you look, we are storing up for risks in the future."
The IEA's report looks at two possible future scenarios: New Policies and Sustainable Development. 
The former sees investment continuing as is, though would be adjusted for voluntary carbon plans by individual nations. The planet would warm by 3C in 80 years.  
The latter scenario would be "fully aligned" with Paris. 
Globally investment in all clean energy last year was US$305 billion, but this needs to double in ten years and investment in nuclear power would need to rise to $76 billion, from $47 billion now. 
Storage and power network investment would have to rise to $464 billion, a rise of 50%. 
"The share of low-carbon investment rises to 65% by 2030, but advancing from today's share of 35% would require a step-change in policy focus," the report said.