Paris climate summit must be start of frequent carbon reviews, says IEA

Pledges on curbing carbon emissions by countries at UN conference this December should be revised every five years, says energy watchdog

The crunch climate change conference to take place in Paris later this year must be the beginning of a new process of five-yearly meetings, rather than a one-off, the world’s energy watchdog has warned.

Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, and its incoming executive director, said: “The pledges in Paris need to be renewed every five years. That is because circumstances change, the costs of technology go down, and so on. We need to take account of that.”

In Paris, this December, the governments of 196 countries will meet to try to forge a new global agreement on climate change, with all countries taking on targets on their future emissions. For developed countries, this will mean absolute cuts; for developing nations, curbs on their future carbon output. These commitments would kick in from 2020, when current commitments will run out.

But, currently, there are no plans for a process of future revisions of the Paris pledges, which run to 2025 in some cases and 2030 for other countries.

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