© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A coal-burning power plant can be seen behind a factory in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, October 31, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo
By Noah Browning
LONDON (Reuters) – The global rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic is set to drive emissions of greenhouse gases that stoke climate change to all-time highs, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in a report on Tuesday.
“We estimate that full and timely implementation of the economic recovery measures announced to date would result in CO2 emissions climbing to record levels in 2023, continuing to rise thereafter,” it said.
Spending plans for clean energy allocated by governments around the world in the second quarter of this year add up to $380 billion, making up just 2% of their total stimulus funds in response to the pandemic, the IEA said.
The energy watchdog said the figure represented around a third of what it envisioned was needed in order to put the world on course to reach net zero emissions by mid-century.
“(Countries) must then go even further by leading clean energy investment and deployment to much greater heights beyond the recovery period in order to shift the world on to a pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050, which is narrow but still achievable – if we act now,” IEA chief Fatih Birol wrote.
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