Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, the global authority on energy, has warned that the world can still limit global heating to 1.5C.
Birol also said that to claim that the target is now out of reach is to play into the hands of fossil fuel proponents. He slammed scientists and activists who have claimed that the recent Cop27 UN climate summit killed off hopes for the crucial 1.5C limit.
“It is factually incorrect, and politically it is very wrong,” said Birol. “The fact is that the chances of 1.5C are narrowing, but it is still achievable.”
According to Birol, the claims that the 1.5C limit was dead comes from an “unusual coalition” of scientists, activists and fossil fuel industry “incumbents”.
“I find the emerging chorus of this unusual coalition of people saying 1.5C is dead factually and politically wrong,” he told the media. “They are jumping to conclusions that are not borne out by the data.”
Speaking further, he said that the claims were “unhelpful” to efforts to shift the global economy to a low-carbon footing, warning that Proponents of the existing energy systems will be the beneficiaries if the obituary of 1.5C is written.
He also stated that Investors and financial institutions could be put off by a chorus of claims that 1.5C was dead, pointing to the surge in clean energy investment this year, in the wake of the Ukraine war and soaring fossil fuel prices.
He added that countries’ current targets of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions would result in a temperature rise of 1.7C, if all pledges were fulfilled, which was within striking distance of the 1.5C limit.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.