Reaction to World Energy Outlook 2021

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Responding to today's World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), Oxfam's Policy Adviser on Climate Change Lyndsay Walsh said:

"It is now beyond doubt that there is no need for further coal, oil and gas exploration if we are to avoid the most dangerous impacts of climate change, which are already bringing greater hunger and poverty in some of the poorest parts of the world. The Government should take this warning seriously and immediately scrap plans for a new coal mine in Cumbria and further oil and gas drilling licences in the North Sea. The IEA has sent a stark message that the world is far off track to reach Net Zero by 2050. With COP26 just weeks away, the eyes of the world are on the UK."

"This report outlines some of the necessary changes the Government must make if it is to convert its Net Zero dreams into the nuts and bolts of policy and investments. It also describes some of the huge rewards that can be reaped from a just transition to clean energy in terms of jobs and investments. But we are currently seeing the opposite: an unsustainable recovery from the pandemic with 2021 on track to see the second-largest annual increase in CO2 emissions in history. The UK has the potential to be a global leader but bold action is urgently required."


Notes to editors:

A summary of World Energy Outlook 2021 is available here. The full report will be published at 10:30am today.

The International Energy Agency publishes its World Energy Outlook every year and it is very influential in driving energy investments. This year the IEA has changed the timing and format of the report to provide “a detailed stocktake of how far countries have come in their clean energy transitions, how far they still have to go to reach the goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5°C”.

In August, Oxfam estimated that the proposed Cambo oil project near the Shetland Islands could produce up to 255 million barrels of oil over its lifetime, releasing an estimated 132 million tonnes of CO2e emissions. To remove these emissions from the atmosphere would require planting trees on an area of land the size of England or more than 1.5 times Scotland.

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