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IEA opposes deepening fossil fuel reliance amid escalating energy crisis

The energy crisis should not lead to a deeper dependence on fossil fuels, warned International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol.

Rebounding post-lockdown demand and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have driven fears of supply shortages, causing wholesale prices to spike to record levels over recent months.

Birol acknowledged that market conditions and short-term demand meant the world could not immediately cut off its dependence on oil and gas supplies.

However, he argued that ramping up renewable energy and nuclear power would ensure the world does not have to choose between energy shortages and increasing carbon emissions.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, he said: “We need fossil fuels in the short term, but let’s not lock in our future by using the current situation as an excuse to justify some of the investments being done, time-wise it doesn’t work and morally in my view it doesn’t work as well.”

This follows the organisation warning investors last year not to fund new oil, gas and coal supply projects if the world wants to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

The OPEC+ alliance of oil exporters has been incrementally releasing oil into markets, with top producers Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates holding off on tapping full capacity.

The organisation has pledged to ramp up production by 432,000 barrels per day next month.


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