IEA pins climate change goals on developing world transition

FILE PHOTO: International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol speaks during the "Rome 2015 MED, Mediterranean dialogues" forum in Rome, Italy, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Max Rossi/File Photo

(Reuters) - Tackling climate change is impossible without investment in the clean energy transition of developing countries, International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol said on Wednesday.

Birol, who heads the Paris-based energy watchdog, said at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum that more than two-thirds of global emissions come from emerging economies and almost all the growth will come from them over the next 30 years

“If our aim is to reach net zero emissions, if our aim is to address the climate change globally ... there is no way without hugely accelerating the clean energy investment in emerging countries we can reach this goal. No way whatsoever,” he said.

“When you look at clean energy investments in emerging countries, we need to multiply it almost by a factor of three. When I look at the numbers, I don’t see a big jump in the appetite of investors,” he added.

Addressing recent investments in fossil fuel based projects such as power plants is also a priority, Birol said.

The IEA plans to publish a first comprehensive road map for the entire global energy sector to reach net zero emissions by 2050 in May.

It aims to be a primer for a summit in Glasgow in November aimed at drawing up global goals to tackle climate change.

Reporting by Noah Browning and Kate Abnett; Editing by John Stonestreet and Alexander Smith