Energy intensity on Durban agenda

Let’s talk about energy intensity and why we might hear more about it in Durban than in previous UNFCCC conferences.

Last week Ban Ki-moon appointed members of his High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for All. They have to come up with a plan to achieve three energy goals that global leaders will be asked to approve at the Rio+20 summit.

One of the goals is to speed up the rate of improvement in global use of energy to 2.5% per annum, double the rate in recent history. This is all about decoupling economic growth from emissions.

I’m curious how this initiative relates to the UNFCCC process. Is Mr.Ban’s intensity target a helpful prop for Durban or a sign that he’s looking to new pastures to fight climate change?

Then there’s doubts about the adequacy of his target. A gloomy PwC report published on Monday said that we need to reduce energy intensity by 4.8% per annum, almost double the UN ambition.

The World Energy Outlook 2011 published this morning reaches a similar conclusion. In assessing the impact of doubling the historic improvement in energy efficiency, it warns: “we need to achieve an even higher pace of change,” if we are to keep the CO2e atmospheric concentration down to 450.

This is the punishment for inaction on global warming – the solutions rapidly enter the crazy zone


this post was first published by OneWorld UK