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Global Emissions To Reach Record Levels By 2023 – IEA

September 10, 2021

By Paul Homewood

Talking of the IEA, Fatih Birol was throwing his toys out of the pram a couple of months ago, because governments around the world were ignoring his warnings of climageddon:




Governments worldwide are deploying an unprecedented amount of fiscal support aimed at stabilising and rebuilding their economies, but only about 2% of this spending has been allocated to clean energy measures, according to new analysis from the International Energy Agency.

The sums of money, both public and private, being mobilised worldwide by recovery plans fall well short of what is needed to reach international climate goals. These shortfalls are particularly pronounced in emerging and developing economies, many of which face particular financing challenges.

Under governments’ current recovery spending plans, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are set to climb to record levels in 2023 and continue rising in the following years. This would leave the world far from the pathway to net-zero emissions by 2050 that the IEA set out in its recent Global Roadmap to Net Zero.

These findings come from the new Sustainable Recovery Tracker that the IEA launched today to help policy makers assess how far recovery plans are moving the needle on climate. The new online tool is a contribution to the G20 Ministerial Meeting on Environment, Climate and Energy in Naples, which takes place on 22 and 23 July under the Presidency of Italy.

The Tracker monitors government spending allocated to sustainable recoveries and then estimates how much this spending boosts overall clean energy investment and to what degree this affects the trajectory of global CO2 emissions. The Tracker considers over 800 national sustainable recovery policies in its analysis, which are publicly available on the IEA website.

“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. Despite increased climate ambitions, the amount of economic recovery funds being spent on clean energy is just a small sliver of the total,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director.

Governments have mobilised USD 16 trillion in fiscal support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, most of it focused on emergency financial relief for households and firms. Only 2% of the total is earmarked for clean energy transitions.

In the early phases of the pandemic, the IEA released the Sustainable Recovery Plan, which recommended USD 1 trillion of spending globally on clean energy measures that could feature prominently in recovery plans. According to the Plan – developed in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund – this spending would boost global economic growth, create millions of jobs and put the world on track to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

According to the Tracker, all the key sectors highlighted in the IEA Sustainable Recovery Plan are receiving inadequate attention from policy makers. Current government plans would only increase total public and private spending on clean energy to around USD 350 billion a year by 2023 – only 35% of what is envisaged in the Plan.



TRANSLATION – Despite western governments throwing billions down the drain in low carbon subsidies, the rest of the world has carried on with business as usual.

Fatih seems to think poorer countries also have billions to waste.

And by 2023, emissions will already have recovered from pandemic lows and reached new records.

  1. Rasa permalink
    September 10, 2021 10:25 am

    Correct me if I am wrong but the CO2 atmosphere concentration, as measured by numerous sites around the world, didn’t fall during the COVID economic downturn? Even though use of fossil fuels for airlines, heavy transport, domestic private transport and public transport etc fell markedly?
    One could read into this that whatever is causing minuscule rises in CO2 in the atmosphere (1-2/1,000,000) it certainly has zip to do with fossil fuel use?

    • September 10, 2021 11:35 am

      Good point, Rasa

      More on that

    • In The Real World permalink
      September 10, 2021 12:12 pm

      Absolutely right Rasa.
      Emissions from transport had no effect on atmospheric totals , and the lockdown proved this .

      It does bring up the idea that part of the Lockdown plan was to reduce CO2 levels to try to justify the insanity of stopping fossil fuel use .
      In which case it has totally failed , unless they now start altering the records showing CO2 levels , or try to claim that it will take years before it shows up .[ The atmosphere moves around the world at very high speed , see ” The Jetstream” , and changes in the total would be seen in days , not 18 months since the lockdown started .

      • Broadlands permalink
        September 10, 2021 1:38 pm

        What the pandemic travel lockdowns proved is that when carbon fuels are rapidly cut back economic devastation is the result. The urge to continue this nonsense to save the planet is reckless policy “on steroids”.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      September 10, 2021 2:03 pm

      The reduction in emissions was worth 0.35ppm over the year from April 2020, which should be enough to show as a kink in the trend of about 2ppm per year.

      One way I think of this is to consider a dammed lake on a river forming a reservoir. The volume of the lake is the analogue for atmospheric CO2. The tributaries may contribute varying amounts to the inflow, and can be thought of as the various sources of atmospheric CO2, and are sufficient to offset evaporation losses, which along with surplus flow over the dam constitute the sinks. Now if there is some separate process that raises or lower the height of the dam, that becomes the one that controls the volume in the lake – not the variations in the inflows.

  2. cookers52 permalink
    September 10, 2021 10:45 am

    The paradox is that it would cost only a few thousand to dig a flood attenuation pond in the sports field next to our troublesome little Brook, but apparently there is no council money for this.

    But the council have declared a climate emergency and are spending millions on reducing emissions.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      September 10, 2021 10:55 am

      A lovely example of political madness at work, could be multiplied millions of times … !

    • MikeHig permalink
      September 10, 2021 11:03 am

      That’s an extremely important point which is consistently overlooked or ignored.

      Investment in measures to mitigate losses and damage by protecting vulnerable areas from weather events is money well-spent, whatever causes the events – Mother Nature, most likely.
      It should take priority over silly schemes to “cut carbon” and the like which can only be a total waste of money at local, even national, scale for a minor emitter like the UK ( that’s not endorsing climate alarmism, btw).

    • Gerry, England permalink
      September 10, 2021 1:30 pm

      Declaring a ‘climate emergency’ allows the pygmies you have as councillors to feel self-important and that they are on a mission to save the world, no doubt egged-on by some of the retards that are council officers. My lot are like that.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      September 10, 2021 1:38 pm

      Ahh..there’s the thing, Cookie. If the Council managed to mitigate any flooding (from whatever cause) they would no longer have their ‘evidence’ that flooding is caused by CC.
      There has to be a way of proving that flooding is caused by poor maintenance of the environment.
      As an example, my village – for such it is – has been nearly doubled by housing expansion yet the facilities for drainage still seem to be as was. As I speak of one who has a river (big stream, actually) feeding the Avon in my back garden, I know that much of the new buildings/roads will drain into it. But nothing has been done to dredge or otherwise accommodate the extra run-off. ‘Cos ‘they’ know they have a cast-iron excuse: CC, innit!.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        September 10, 2021 9:48 pm

        I was living in Geelong in 1979, which was a very wet year there. After one storm (when the ground was already saturated) the drainage from the new suburb on the hill slope was discovered to be into that of the older suburb. When the increased volume started the water took the old course, down the old creek – since covered by a shopping centre – and followed gravity down the new street, through new houses etc.
        Now who had decided to let the developer just run the hillside drain into the older drain? Who had approved the development plans of the shopping centre? And the new houses downstream? An ex-mayor became the SOLE scapegoat. None of the Council Officials were charged that I know.

  3. September 10, 2021 11:00 am

    Is it me, or is this just total laughable madness? Who has paid for this and the other 16 installations in Europe? How many people believe that this is beneficial to anyone or anything?

  4. September 10, 2021 11:25 am

    Surely repairing potholes is a more useful way to spend our money than zerocarbon targets?

  5. September 10, 2021 12:18 pm

    Birol wealth is reported to be $3million – not bad for a “scientist” on the Climate Gravy train who seems to have been a professional student, finishing at Imperial, who never had a proper job.

  6. bluecat57 permalink
    September 10, 2021 12:20 pm

    When the baseline was zero and the population is constantly growing, “records” are somewhat meaningless.

  7. Broadlands permalink
    September 10, 2021 1:22 pm

    “Under governments’ current recovery spending plans, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are set to climb to record levels in 2023 and continue rising in the following years.”

    Yes indeed. Back in 1987 it was pointed that atmospheric CO2 is a proxy. It represents the sum total of all human activities. And if one plots Mauna Loa CO2 against global population the correlation is almost perfect. That remains true today. An extrapolation (regression) will show that by 2050 CO2 will be very close to 500 ppm. Nothing realistic or economically viable can stop that from taking place. No technology nor more scary projections. The IEA’s own numbers confirm that. They estimate carbon capture and storage by 2050 could be 7,600 million metric tons. That’s not even one part-per-million. Fatih Birol has been told that and so has the leadership at the Global CCS Institute.

  8. Harry Passfield permalink
    September 10, 2021 3:17 pm

    When a shell company owns the profits who gets to own the structures that will need to be removed in the fullness of time? Let me guess: tpbt (the poor b taxpayer). There should be a law about that!

  9. Coeur de Lion permalink
    September 10, 2021 8:56 pm

    What with the thirty year cooling, the Ice Age scare, the 1910 to 1940 slope, the 15year ‘pause’, today’s 6 year pause, the steady undifferentiated CO2 climb, where’s the causation?

    • September 10, 2021 9:56 pm

      In the models, which never match the evidence of actual data 🙄

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