Monday, May 24, 2021

Defying the International Energy Agency


 The International Energy Agency's (IEA) calls for no new oil, natural gas and coal investments for the world to be able to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.  It outlined a path to net-zero emissions that suggested stopping new investments in oil, gas and coal supply, retiring coal-fired plants in advanced economies by 2030. The IEA said its pathway was "the most technically feasible, cost-effective and socially acceptable".

Some Asian energy officials viewed that approach as too narrow.

Energy companies in Australia, the biggest carbon emitter per capita among the world's richest nations, and officials in Japan and the Philippines said there were many ways to get to net zero.

Akihisa Matsuda, the deputy director of international affairs at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), said the government has no plans to immediately stop oil, gas and coal investments.

"The report provides one suggestion as to how the world can reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, but it is not necessarily in line with the Japanese government's policy," he said.

Japan was the region's third-largest carbon emitter in 2019, after China and India.

"The IEA report doesn't take into account future negative emission technologies and offsets from outside the energy sector -- two things that are likely to happen and will allow vital and necessary future development of oil and gas fields," Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Chief Executive Andrew McConville said.

Australia's top independent gas producer, Woodside Petroleum, said it still aims to make a final investment decision for an $11 billion investment to develop a new gas field off Western Australia in late 2021.

Australia on Wednesday committed A$600 million ($467 million) in taxpayer funds to build a new gas-fired power station.

In the Philippines, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said cutting finance for oil, gas and coal without considering efficiency and competitiveness would "set back the Philippines' aspiration to join the ranks of upper-middle-income countries," he said.

Demand for coal is still expected to be strong in the next few decades as some countries are still building new coal-fired power plants, said Hendra Sinadia, executive director at Indonesia Coal Mining Association.

Asia snubs IEA's call to stop new fossil fuel investments (

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