IEA says CO2 caps not enough

The world will have to take extreme measures -- including sucking greenhouse gases of the atmosphere -- to avoid serious global warming, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its annual report. The document adds to the growing worries that governments have under-estimated the problem of climate change, Reuters reported.


The IEA, which is the energy adviser to 28 rich countries, detailed two paths for limiting warming to 2° and 3° Celsius respectively, both of which would require massive annual investments in alternatives to fossil fuels. "Both scenarios imply that net greenhouse-gas emissions turn negative — carbon absorption exceeds gross emissions — towards the end of the century," the report said.


Mere reliance on gradual caps on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to the IEA, would not be enough to stop the earth from warming to dangerous levels. Other methods could involve the deployment of an untested technique to pump underground CO2 produced from burning vegetation, using carbon capture and storage, and planting more forests.


A UN panel of climate scientists warned last year that there will be serious consequences to world food and water supplies if global warming exceeds 2° Celsius. The IEA report estimates that the cost of limiting warming to no more than 2° would be especially expensive because it would require scrapping and replacing dirty power plants. That could cost about US$3.6 trillion from 2010 to 2030.

See full story