• New International Energy Agency website tracks energy-related Paris Agreement progress

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

new website from the International Energy Agency has been launched to show how progress towards the ‘well below 2°C’ climate goal of the Paris Agreement is tracking. The site details 38 indicators, split between power, buildings, transport, industry and energy integration, and the current progress is rather discouraging. Four indicators – solar photovoltaics, lighting, data centres and networks, and electric vehicles, are ‘on track’, 23 ‘need more effort’, and the remaining 11 are ‘not on track’. Of particular interest to the combustion industry are that unabated coal-fired power, carbon capture, utilisation and storage, heating, and CCUS in industry (iron and steel, paper and pulp, cement) are not on track. The IEA target is for global unabated (i.e. without CCUS) coal-firing to decline by 5.6% per year, but in 2017 it increased 3%; for CCUS, it is that 350 megatonnes of CO2 will be captured annually by 2030, while in 2017 it was 2.4 Mt (and with planned projects to raise it to only 11 Mt by 2025). The CCUS picture is similar for other industrial applications. In the renewables field, geothermal, ocean and concentrating solar power are off track, while other forms are mostly needing more effort. The site also shows that the carbon intensity in producing end-use energy has been relatively flat since 2000, though with a fall of 1.5% since 2013, there may be some cause for optimism – the world energy system is an enormous system, after all, and to change it is a gargantuan task. Total CO2 emissions from fuel combustion have risen markedly since 2000, and need to reverse that trend beginning immediately to meet the target. Overall, the site contains a wealth of information which will presumably be updated annually.