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IEA Official: CO2 Emissions Cannot Be Cut in Half by 2050

Jerusalem Post. Global carbon dioxide emissions cannot be cut in half by 2050, according to Dr. Robert Dixon, Head of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy Technology Policy Division.

Dixon made the remarks during a roundtable discussion on “Energy Challenges for the 21st Century” hosted by the Lauder School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC Herzliya) in Israel.

“We can’t cut our emissions in half by 2050. The best we can do is stabilize them to current levels... The IEA is a repository for a lot of data, and so we have a lot of interesting models. The numbers just don’t fit the declarations,” he said.

Regarding future tasks, decarbonizing transport will be among the hardest problems. Planes, trains and automobiles will take a long time to control. Conversely, the energy industry can decarbonize by 2050, Dixon believes.

Prior to his joining the IEA in 2005, Dixon served as an energy and environment advisor to the current Bush Administration, splitting his time between the National Security Council and the Council on Environmental Policy.



... with current investments.


This makes no sense. If the energy industry can decarbonize by 2050, then so can transport. Most transport will have to be electric. But didn't we already know this?


What? Huh? Is there really that much oil left? I strongly doubt it. The way things are looking right now, 2010 is going to be the Year of the Electric Car. And oil will be $200 a barrel by then.


Spot on Cervus. It's unbelievable that so many people that should know better just assume business as usual for oil production when the figures just don't stack up

Jeff R

I would think it would be the other way around. Coal fired plants last for generations, while people get new cars every decade or so. Once the perfect electric or alt-fuel car comes along, surely by 2040, right? :-) it won't be long before we all have one. Airline fleets last 30 years, but a biofuel retrofit seems doable. I wonder what data he's talking about.


On average, it takes 20 years to cycle out a fleet of cars.

Better part about electric cars though is that they should be getting greener as they get older. Due to the greener grid.


Also please, lets all assume that biofuels either aren't happening, or will be limited to niche applications.


Oh we could, but we won't. As long as energy consumption is associated with economic growth, there will be foot dragging. While it is true that an expanding economy may use more energy, using more energy will not give you and expanding economy.


I don't know why anybody is still listening to what IEA is saying. these people are not serious, and those who think they work seriously in predicting the future of energy should reaad the report of Energy Watch Group were they analyse their prediction of the production of oil in the next 30 years.

Excellent report that I encourage anybody to read from a to z, if you have the guts...


Here's a tipoff as to the probable bozo factor of this guy Dixon:

Prior to his joining the IEA in 2005, Dixon served as an energy and environment advisor to the current Bush Administration, splitting his time between the National Security Council and the Council on Environmental Policy.


In other words drill and war. That was a failed policy even before it was hatched in their beady little brains. Someone has GOT to keep these crack pots away from power or we are doomed.


Arghhh... I just hate crackpots who tell us we can't have a world with six billion people and a giant new middle class (China & India) AND cut CO2 by 50 percent!! These Cretans just don't want to ride a bus, or stop drinking soda pop, or read by candle light. After all if we stabilize CO2 at current levels that would be what...? 0.0379 per cent of our atmosphere (379 ppm for eggheads.) So we add another 400 million cars to the planet and keep the atmosphere where it is today?

This guy Dixon might be related to F.W.Dixon, a hale and hardy type conservative intent on destroying the world. And note what country this emanates from - can we really trust these people?

richard schumacher

Of course we can have a world of nine billion people with a decent standard of living and no global warming. All we have to do is pay for it: $5 per gallon for artificial vehicle fuels made without fossil carbon, and $0.20 per kiloWatt-hour for fossil-free electricity (nuclear, wind, etc.). We need the political will to give up coal and forgo saving a few cents of direct costs.


We definitely CAN do it, it is whether we WILL do it that matters. People have to want it bad enough and are willing to pitch in and make it happen. Then they find out that they did not have to sacrifice all that much after all and there is more than enough to go around.


What's "artificial vehicle fuels?"



Coal-to-Liquid, Biomass-to-Liquid, basically Fischer-Tropsh processes that can make diesel and gasoline.


I say, no, we cannot have a world with 9 or even 6 billion people without global warming. Any credible attempt to stop global warming must include population stabilization, even reduction. Along with all these fancy technologies, an old-fashioned one, contraception, must play a key role.

Harvey D


The world can have 12+ billion people as long as they are not A..., C... A... and few others who consume (just about everything) 3 to 5 times as much as they should.

Per capita consumption is the problem, not the size of the population per se.

It seems that we have forgotten that.


"$5 per gallon for artificial vehicle fuels made without fossil carbon,"

What's wrong with Coskata or Range Fuel, or the other waste to ethanol schemes at under $2.00/gal?? If people find a way to make cheap liquid fuels - is it a crime?

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