A peak in global energy emissions could be achieved by 2020 at no net economic cost, according to a new report.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said this can be met using only proven technologies and policies and without having to change the economic or development forecasts of any region.
The IEA is an intergovernmental organisation which examines energy issues and supports policies which enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy.
It suggests five measures governments must focus on:
– Increasing energy efficiency in the industry, buildings and transport sectors
– Reducing the use of the least-efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction
– Increasing investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion (£174bn) in 2014 to $400 billion (£258bn) in 2030
– Gradually phasing out fossil fuel by 2030
– Reducing methane emissions in oil and gas production
IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said: “As IEA analysis has repeatedly shown the cost and difficulty of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions increases every year – time is of the essence.
“It is clear the energy sector must play a critical role if efforts to reduce emissions are to succeed.”
The study comes ahead of the 21st UN Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015.
The paper states four key pillars are needed to make COP21 a success, which includes setting the conditions to achieve an early peak in global energy-related emissions.
It adds there should be a five-year revision of national climate targets to raise ambition and “lock in the vision” by making the world’s climate goal into a collective long-term emissions goal.
Finally, there should be an established process for tracking achievements in the sector, it states.