JOINT LETTER TO IEA

Letter to IEA May 2020

On May 28, 2020 a letter was sent to Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) from over sixty leaders from within the climate community. Below is a copy of the letter along with the list of co-signatories. The letter was a follow up to one sent in November 2019.

 

Dear Fatih,

 

First and foremost, we hope you are keeping well during these uncertain times.

 

Thank you for your bold vision and insightful early calls for clean energy to be “at the heart of

stimulus plans” globally and for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies at a time when prices for these

fuels are at record lows. Indeed this is a moment of potential transformation, as trillions of

dollars of capital are poised to be injected into unprecedented economic recovery efforts.

 

As you understand better than most, the world is grappling with three converging crises: the

widespread health impacts and economic paralysis caused by COVID-19, the collapse in

global oil prices, and the ever-looming and escalating climate emergency. These crises have

laid bare the structural fragility of a fossil fuel-driven economy. Yet if done right, the decisions

governments make in the coming weeks and months could meaningfully address all of these

challenges simultaneously to build a healthier, safer and more resilient future for all.

 

Many of us have written to you before regarding the urgency of developing a World Energy

Outlook that puts the Paris Agreement’s objectives at its centre. We are delighted to learn that

you have decided to release a special edition of the WEO this June to provide

recommendations to governments on how to build back better through strategic use of

economic recovery tools including green job-creation policy options. This special edition and

the forthcoming annual WEO could be the most influential ever, given the potential to guide

efforts to achieve the objective of limiting average global warming to 1.5ºC.

 

With this historic opportunity in mind, we urge you to include the following recommendations:

 

  • Make a 1.5ºC-aligned scenario central. This should include continued descent of GHG emissions after 2020, and a halving of emissions by 2030, in line with the IPCC’s findings.
  • A continued precautionary approach to negative emissions technologies.
  • A managed phase-down of fossil fuel production and use in parallel with actions to support a just transition.
  • A rapid phase-out of direct and indirect fossil fuel subsidies, as long ago committed by the G20.
  • Increased investment into clean alternatives.
  • Investment in socially and ecologically responsible Nature-Based Solutions to achieve the land-based emissions reductions already assumed in WEO scenarios and improve resilience.

 

Effective stimulus measures will ensure that new clean energy replaces fossil fuels, rather

than adding to them. They will map out a pathway for a just transition to a net-zero emissions

economy, with tremendous potential for job creation at scale. Bold, not incremental, action is

required to transform energy systems at the scale and pace required. Global leaders have

shown themselves willing and able to take such bold action, but they need the right tools,

which this summer’s special edition of the WEO as well as the forthcoming annual WEO can

provide.

 

In responding to the current devastating crisis, we must ensure we don’t exacerbate another.

The climate crisis requires urgent action, and we now have an unexpected chance to radically

and boldly advance policies and investments that truly lead us towards a safer, more resilient

economy - one that protects people and the planet. The IEA’s Global Energy Review 2020

aptly recognizes the risks and opportunities ahead: “As after previous crises ... the rebound in

emissions may be larger than the decline, unless the wave of investment to restart the

economy is dedicated to cleaner and more resilient energy infrastructure.”

 

In light of the IEA’s considerable impact on global energy decision-making, the tools you

provide will shape countless investments and decisions that may either lock in a high carbon

future to devastating effect or, conversely, accelerate the transition to a resilient clean energy

economy. The stakes are high and we look forward to you rising to the challenge of guiding

robust recovery pathways aligned with 1.5ºC.

 

Thank you again for your leadership and quick action on these matters.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

  • Gonzalo Muñoz Abogabir, Chilean High-Level Climate Action Champion for COP25
  • Urban Angehrn, Chief Investment Officer, Zurich Insurance Group
  • Céline Bak, Founder and President, Analytica Advisors
  • Peter Bakker, President & Chief Executive Officer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Oliver Bäte, Chairman of the Board of Management, Allianz SE
  • Seb Beloe, Partner and Head of Research, WHEB Asset Management
  • Katja Bergqvist, Chief Executive Officer, Nordea Life & Pension
  • Magnus Billing, Chief Executive Officer, Alecta
  • Jesper Brodin, Chief Executive Officer, Ingka Group (IKEA)
  • Nicky Bull, Chair, Operation Noah
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Mark Campanale, Founder & Executive Director, Carbon Tracker
  • Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group
  • Aron Cramer, Chief Executive Officer, BSR
  • Faustine Delasalle, Director, Energy Transitions Commission
  • Sandrine Dixson-Decl.ve, Co-President, The Club of Rome
  • Frances Eaton, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, Nysnø
  • Gebru Jember Endalew, Former Chair, Least Developed Countries Group, UNFCCC
  • Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Unilever
  • Christiana Figueres, Convenor, Mission 2020
  • Odd Arild Grefstad, Chief Executive Officer, Storebrand
  • Dabo Guan, Distinguished Chair in Climate Change Economics, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University
  • Joanna Haigh, Co-Director, Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London
  • Fletcher Harper, Director, GreenFaith
  • Emma Herd, Chief Executive Officer, Investor Group on Climate Change
  • Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive Officer, Share Action
  • Tomás Insua, Executive Director, Global Climate Catholic Movement
  • Pushker A. Kharecha, Deputy Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Rachel Kyte, Dean, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • Natasha Landell-Mills, Head of Stewardship, Sarasin & Partners
  • Jim Leape, Co-Director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Eytan Lenko, Chair and Interim Chief Executive Officer, Beyond Zero Emissions
  • Timothy Lenton, Director, Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter, UK
  • Mindy Lubber, Chief Executive Officer and President, Ceres
  • Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Director of the Earth System Science Center, Penn State University
  • Hannah McKinnon, Program Director, Oil Change International
  • Malte Meinshausen, Director, Climate & Energy College, University of Melbourne
  • Rebecca Mikula-Wright, Director, Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC)
  • Marjan Minnesma, Director and Founder, Urgenda Foundation
  • Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace
  • Damilola Ogunbiyi, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Energy for All
  • Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
  • Eduardo Paes, Former Mayor of Rio and former Chair of C40
  • Torben Möger Pedersen, Chief Executive Officer, PensionDanmark
  • Stephanie Pfeifer, Chief Executive Officer, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
  • Lena Pripp-Kovac, Chief Sustainability Officer, Inter IKEA Group
  • Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Climate & Energy Global Practice Leader, WWF International
  • Fiona Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer, Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
  • Katherine Richardson, Professor, Biological Oceanography Globe Institute, Leader Sustainability Science Centre, University of Copenhagen
  • Kelly Rigg, Director, Varda Group
  • Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Chair of the Elders
  • Joeri Rogelj, Lecturer in Climate Change and the Environment, Grantham Institute for
  • Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London
  • Michiel Schaeffer, Director and Senior Scientist, Climate Analytics
  • John Schellnhuber, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact
  • Johan Sidenmark, Chief Executive Officer, AMF
  • Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
  • Anna Skarbek, Chief Executive Officer, ClimateWorks Australia
  • Tim Smit, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Eden Project
  • Will Steffen, Emeritus Professor, The Australia National University, Canberra
  • Thomas Stocker, Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern
  • Betsy Taylor, President, Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, LLC
  • Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Action Champion, UNFCCC COP26
  • Laurence Tubiana, Chief Executive Officer, European Climate Foundation
  • Mark Watts, Director, C40
  • Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors
  • Ylva Wessén, Chief Executive Officer, Folksam Group
  • Gail Whiteman, Director, Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, Lancaster University
  • Jeremy Wilkinson, Senior Scientist, British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council
  • Peter Wooders, Senior Director, Energy, International Institute for Sustainable Development

 

 

Letter to IEA November 2019

On November 18, 2019 a letter was sent to Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) from over sixty leaders from within the climate community. Below is a copy of the letter along with the list of co-signatories. The letter was a follow up to one sent in April 2019.

 

Dear Fatih,

 

So much has happened since we wrote to you earlier this year, asking the IEA to prioritize a 1.5ºC pathway in this year’s World Energy Outlook (WEO).  We have just witnessed 11,000 scientists declare that we are now in an emergency state with climate change. The unprecedented public protests we see on our streets have made clear that people will no longer tolerate inaction or delay from businesses and governments when it comes to the climate crisis.

 

We welcome the improvements the IEA has made to the latest WEO, including renaming the New Policies Scenario to the more accurately entitled ‘Stated Policies Scenario’, extending the Sustainable Development Scenario to 2050, and reintroducing some discussion of the critical 1.5ºC warming limit. Such minor improvements are very welcome, but should not be mistaken for delivering upon urgently needed substantial changes.

 

We urge you to do better. We fully understand that the IEA does not intend to define policy or investment decisions, but the fact is that the WEO is the globally authoritative publication on energy and energy infrastructure and it is used to inform significant investment and political decisions worldwide. As the WEO can become a self fulfilling prophecy, it carries a major responsibility that goes way beyond that of other publications that are merely descriptive. The IEA cannot be derelict of this responsibility.

 

The mainstream scenario in this year’s WEO leads to at least 2.7ºC of warming. The Sustainable Development Scenario could limit warming 1.8ºC of warming by reaching net-zero emissions by 2070. That’s two decades too late.

 

The science tells us that our best chance of avoiding unprecedented human catastrophes is to limit warming to 1.5ºC by halving global emissions between 2020 and 2030, and again by 2040, so we can safely reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Any temperature rise beyond 1.5ºC will exacerbate the devastation and injustice that is already too much to bear.

 

The WEO must provide governments, investors and companies with a scenario that describes what they would need to do to align their policies, investments and business strategies with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5ºC.  Measures would include exponential broad-spectrum renewable energy deployment, improved energy efficiency, electrification of cars, heating and heavy industry, an end to polluting combustion engines, and an end to the expansion of oil, gas and coal production, accompanied by a just transition and radical regeneration of nature.

 

We have seen how the IEA can shine attention on transformational solutions. Its recent outlook report on offshore wind rightly acknowledged the game-changing power of this technology, and charted a course for other industries, including oil and gas, to seize the business opportunities it presents.

 

We therefore renew our call on the IEA to make a fully transparent Sustainable Development Scenario the central reference in the 2020 WEO. The ambition of the SDS must be increased to present a reasonable probability of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 (not 2070) and limiting warming to 1.5ºC (not 1.8ºC). It should include a precautionary approach to negative emissions technologies, and the steps needed to follow that pathway.

 

The year 2020 marks a turning point for the world — the year when we either grasp the challenges and opportunities before us, or continue delaying and obstructing the low-carbon transformation. This is an opportunity for the IEA to step out in front and show the world what is necessary for us to deliver a 1.5ºC future.

 

Yours sincerely,

  • Aron Cramer, Chief Executive Officer, BSR
  • Betsy Taylor, President, Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, LLC
  • Bill Hare, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Climate Analytics
  • Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive Officer, ShareAction
  • Christiana Figueres, Convenor, Mission 2020
  • Eduardo Paes, Former Mayor of Rio and former Chair of C40
  • Emma Herd, Chief Executive Officer, Investor Group on Climate Change (Aus & NZ)
  • Faustine Delasalle, Director, Energy Transitions Commission
  • Fiona Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer, Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI)
  • Fletcher Harper, Director, GreenFaith
  • Frances Eaton, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, Nysnø
  • Gail Whiteman, Director, Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, Lancaster University
  • Gebru Jember Endalew, Former Chair, Least Developed Countries Group, UNFCCC
  • Gilbert Ghostine, Chief Executive Officer, Firmenich
  • Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs, Signify
  • Helen Clarkson, Chief Executive Officer, The Climate Group
  • Henrik Poulsen, Chief Executive Officer, Ørsted
  • Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director, Greenpeace
  • Joanna Haigh, Co-Director, Grantham Research Institute for Climate Change & Environment
  • Joeri Rogelj, Lecturer in Climate Change and the Environment, Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London
  • Johan Rockström, Professor & Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
  • Johan Sidenmark, Chief Executive Officer, AMF, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance
  • John Schellnhuber, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact
  • Julian Sainsbury, Trustee, JJ Charitable Trust
  • Katja Bergqvist, Chief Executive Officer, Nordea Life & Pension, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance
  • Kelly Clark, Director, Finance Dialogue
  • Kelly Rigg, Director, Varda Group
  • Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, TERI School of Advanced Studies
  • Lord Adair Turner, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission
  • Lucy Guard, Trustee, JJ Charitable Trust
  • Magnus Billing, Chief Executive Officer, Alecta, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance
  • Malte Meinshausen, Director, Climate & Energy College, University of Melbourne
  • Marc Andrus, Bishop, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
  • Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Unilever
  • Marjan Minnesma, Director and Founder, Urgenda Foundation
  • Mark Campanale, Founder & Executive Director, Carbon Tracker
  • Mark Watts, Director, C40
  • Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson Foundation
  • Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University
  • Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University
  • Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Michiel Schaeffer, Director and Senior Scientist, Climate Analytics
  • Monica Araya, Founder and Director, Costa Rica Limpia
  • Nicky Bull, Chair, Operation Noah
  • Nigel Topping, Chief Executive Officer, We Mean Business
  • Odd Arild Grefstad, Chief Executive Officer, Storebrand, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance
  • Oliver Bäte, Chairman of the Board of Management of Allianz SE, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance
  • Patrick Verhelst, Chief Marketing Officer, Elopak
  • Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP
  • Pavel Kabat, First Chief Scientist and Research Director, World Meteorological Organization
  • Peter Bakker, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Peter Blom, Chief Executive Officer, Triodos Bank
  • Pushker A. Kharecha, Deputy Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Qiankun Wang, Research Analyst, GEIDCO
  • Rachel Kyte, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
  • Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President, The Club of Rome; Ambassador for Europe, Energy Transition Commission
  • Sarah Butler-Sloss, Chair, Ashden Trust
  • Seb Beloe, Partner and Head of Research, WHEB Asset Management
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Tim Smit, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Eden Project
  • Tomás Insua, Executive Director, Global Climate Catholic Movement
  • Torben Möger Pedersen, Chief Executive Officer, PensionDanmark, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance
  • Torbjörn Lööf, Chief Executive Officer, Inter IKEA Group
  • Urban Angehrn, Chief Investment Officer, Zurich Insurance Group, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance
  • Ylva Wessén, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer, Folksam Group, Founding Member of the UN-convened Asset Owner Alliance

 

 

 

 

Letter to IEA April 2019

On April 2, 2019 a letter was sent to Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) from over sixty leaders from within the climate community. The letter requested raised ambition, in particular alignment with the Paris 1.5ºC goal, be properly reflected in the upcoming, highly influential World Energy Outlook (WEO). Below is an excerpt of the letter along with the list of co-signatories.

 

"We are therefore calling on the IEA to:

 

1) Make clear that the New Policies Scenario (NPS) is a business as usual scenario that charts a dangerous course to a world with between 2.7ºC and 3ºC of warming. We recognize that it has always been your intent to warn policymakers of the insufficiency of the NPS, but given the central role it plays in the WEO, most users interpret this scenario as the guiding one. We suggest that the NPS scenario take on another name that more clearly communicates its shortfall. “New Policies” is by now no longer new, and it clearly represents an insufficient level and pace of transformation.

 

2) Develop an updated, fully transparent, ‘Sustainable Development Scenario’ (SDS) to reflect the full range of ambition of the Paris goals and make this the central reference of the WEO. This scenario should include a reasonable probability (66%) of limiting warming to 1.5ºC; a longer time horizon (beyond 2040); and a precautionary approach to negative emissions technologies. With the understanding that there are limitations and uncertainties in both industrial and natural approaches to negative emissions, natural carbon sinks must be prioritized. This scenario should also reflect the latest evidence of the pace and potential penetration of clean technologies, and their continuing rapidly falling costs. The current SDS emissions profile is effectively the same as the Copenhagen-era 450 Scenario, which aimed for only a 50% probability of keeping below 2ºC. As mentioned above, we now know the scope of the consequential difference between 1.5ºC and 2ºC."

 

Yours sincerely,

 

  • Achala C. Abeysinghe Head, Global Climate Law, Policy and Governance Programme, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
  • Lord Adair Turner, Chair, Energy Transitions Commission
  • Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group
  • Aron Cramer, Chief Executive Officer, BSR
  • Bill Hare, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Climate Analytics
  • Catherine Howarth, Chief Executive Officer, Share Action
  • Christiana Figueres, Convenor, Mission 2020
  • Eduardo Paes, Former Mayor of Rio and former Chair of C40
  • Rt Hon Sir Edward Davey, Member of Parliament and Former UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, UK Government
  • Emma Herd, Chief Executive Officer, Investor Group on Climate Change (Aus & NZ)
  • Eric Usher, Head, UN Environment Programme - Finance Initiative
  • Faustine Delasalle, Director, Energy Transitions Commission
  • Fiona Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer, Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI)
  • Fletcher Harper, Director, GreenFaith
  • Gail Whiteman, Professor and Director, Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business
  • Gebru Jember Endalew, Former Chair, LDC Group in the UNFCCC
  • Helen Clarkson, ED, The Climate Group
  • Helen Mountford, Programme Director, New Climate Economy
  • James Bevan, Chief Investment Officer, CCLA
  • James Hansen, Professor, Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions Program, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Jim Leape, William and Eva Price Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Joanna Haigh, Co-Director, Grantham Institute for Climate Change & Environment
  • Joeri Rogelj, Lecturer in Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London
  • Johan Rockstrom, Professor & Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
  • John Schellnhuber, Professor and Director Emeritus, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
  • Julian Sainsbury, Trustee, JJ Charitable Trust
  • Kelly Clark, Director, Finance Dialogue
  • Laurence Tubiana, CEO, European Climate Foundation
  • Leena Srivastava, Vice Chancellor, Teri University
  • Leon Kamhi, Head of Responsibility, Hermes
  • Lucy Guard, Trustee, JJ Charitable Trust
  • Malte Meinshausen, Director, Climate & Energy College, University of Melbourne
  • Manuel Pulgar Vidal, Climate Leader, WWF
  • Marc Andrus, Bishop, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco
  • Mark Campanale, Founder & Executive Director, Carbon Tracker
  • Mark Watts, Director, C 40
  • Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson Foundation
  • Michael Mann, Distinguished professor of Meteorology, Penn State Director, Earth System Science Centre, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Michael Oppenheimer, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University
  • Michiel Schaeffer, Director and Senior Scientist, Climate Analytics
  • Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres
  • Monica Araya, Founder and Director, Costa Rica Limpia
  • Natasha Landell-Mills, Partner, Head of Stewardship, Sarasin & Partners
  • Nick Stansbury, Head of Commodity Research, LGIM
  • Nigel Topping, Chief Executive Officer, We Mean Business
  • Niklas Höhne, Professor, Wageningen University of the Netherlands and Partner NewClimate Institute
  • Oliver Bäte, Chair of the Board of Management, Allianz SE
  • Ottmar Edenhofer, Director and Chief Economist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Paul Simpson, Chief Executive Officer, CDP
  • Pavel Kabat, First Chief Scientist and Research Director, World Meteorological Organization
  • Peter Bakker, President & Chief Executive Officer, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)
  • Pushker A. Kharecha, Deputy Director, Earth Institute, Columbia University
  • Qiankun Wang, Research Analyst, GEIDCO
  • Rachel Kyte, Chief Executive Officer, Sustainable Energy for All
  • Ram Ramanathan, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego
  • Rebecca Mikula-Wright, Director, Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC)
  • Ricardo Lagos, Former President of Chile & Former UN Special Envoy on Climate Change
  • Sarah Butler-Sloss, Chair, Ashden Trust
  • Seb Beloe, Partner - Head of Research, Listed Equity, WHEB
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation
  • Sonam P. Wangdi, Chair, UNFCCC LDC (Least Developed Countries) Group
  • Tim Smit, Co-Founder/Executive Chairman, The Eden Project
  • Tomás Insua, Executive Director, Global Climate Catholic Movement