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Global warming

Rapid growth of global energy use to create dirty, polluted planet

Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by: Jessica Fraser
Tags: global warming, clean energy, air pollution6


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(NewsTarget) The International Energy Agency's (IEA) influential 2006 World Energy Outlook report predicts rapidly increasing global energy demands will result in a "dirty, insecure and expensive" energy future unless international environmental policies change.

The IEA report forecasts a 53 percent increase in global energy use by 2030, which will be fueled largely by dirty fossil fuels such as coal. Such growth in fossil fuel consumption will result in a 55 percent increase in carbon emissions, which could in turn cause irreparable environmental damage, the report found.

Developing countries are expected to account for more than 70 percent of the growth over the next 24 years, led mainly by China and India. On its current path of energy demand, China is set to overtake the United States as the largest emitter of carbon by 2010.

The report also explores what will happen to the environment if governments fail to pass strict energy policies or develop clean energy technologies in the next few decades.

"WEO 2006 reveals that the energy future we are facing today, based on projections of current trends, is dirty, insecure and expensive," said IEA executive director Claude Mandil. "But it also shows how new government policies can create an alternative energy future which is clean, clever and competitive -- the challenge posed to the IEA by the G8 leaders and IEA ministers."

The report proposes that governments pass policies that promote energy efficiency, renewable resources and nuclear power. IEA's proposals include nuclear power as a major source of energy in the future, though some environmentalists feel it is too expensive and dangerous to the environment.

"Nuclear power cannot make a major contribution to curbing carbon dioxide emissions," said Neil Crumpton of Friends of the Earth. "Globally nuclear power currently supplies around three percent of global energy -- at a high economic and environmental cost. Renewable energy sources can supply considerably more than even the Agency's highest future global energy forecasts."

The IEA report also predicts increasing future demands for biodiesel, coal and energy-efficient ethanol.

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