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CO2 emissions on track for record in 2023, energy agency says

The International Energy Agency said in a report Tuesday that even as carbon dioxide emissions are set to hit a record high in 2023, international governments are set to only put 2 percent of their COVID-19 recovery spending toward renewable energy.

In the report, the IEA noted that last year it recommended a total of $1 trillion of any coronavirus recovery funds be put toward renewable energy sources.

However, of the $16 trillion global governments are putting toward recovery efforts, only about 2 percent is earmarked toward transitions to renewable energy, according to the report.

Moreover, under current planned spending, global governments would only hike renewable energy spending to some $350 billion annually by 2023, which is only 35 percent of the spending called for by the agency.

“Not only is clean energy investment still far from what’s needed to put the world on a path to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century, it’s not even enough to prevent global emissions from surging to a new record,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement.

“Many countries – especially those where the needs are greatest – are also missing the benefits that well-planned clean energy investment brings, such as stronger economic growth, new jobs and the development of the energy industries of the future.”

Birol went on to say that for governments to meet their 2015 commitments under the Paris climate agreement, they must scale up both spending and other policy actions. Beyond that, Birol said, major economies must increase their spending on renewables beyond the recovery period if there is any hope of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The Trump administration exited the climate agreement, but President BidenJoe BidenAides who clashed with Giuliani intentionally gave him wrong time for Trump debate prep: book Biden says Eid al-Adha carries ‘special meaning’ amid pandemic Manchin to back nominee for public lands chief MORE announced in the first days of his presidency that the U.S. would rejoin it.

“Since the COVID-19 crisis erupted, many governments may have talked about the importance of building back better for a cleaner future, but many of them are yet to put their money where their mouth is,” Birol said. “Despite increased climate ambitions, the amount of economic recovery funds being spent on clean energy is just a small sliver of the total.”


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