IEA data: cleaning up the atmosphere and the economy

An excerpt of the 2009 IEA energy report released in Bangkok shows global energy emissions are down 3 percent this year due to the global economic crisis.

Ironically that could give us just enough breathing room to keep atmospheric CO2 concentration below 450 parts per million as we ramp up investment in renewable sources.

The big message of the report is we can still avoid the worst climate change if we move fast – and also delay threatens the economy as well as the environment. Every year we wait will add another $500 billion to the cost of switching to clean energy.

On the bright side, we’ll save enough on energy bills to pay for investments in improving the efficiency of buildings, appliances and so forth.

They key is rich nations must cap emissions to drive this investment into renewable energy tech right away; and major emitting emerging economies should cap by 2020.

Check out the IEA report to see how emissions reductions and investment can be divided.

The message was not lost on UN negotiators in Bangkok — we must move swiftly to reach a global deal this December because we can't afford to lose another year.

The Guardian, Reuters and other media covered the report, and protesters marched outside the UN building this week to send climate negotiators the message.

Protesters face UN building in Bangkok

Protesters face UN building in Bangkok

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