From: Sam Fleming, Daily Mail
Published November 9, 2006 12:00 AM

International Energy Agency Warns of Effects of Rise in Coal Consumption

LONDON — We are burning our way to an increasingly "dirty future" thanks to the world's growing reliance on coal, the world's leading energy watchdog warned.

The International Energy Agency said the rise in coal consumption since 2003 has been as great as in the previous 23 years.

That's because China and India are devouring huge amounts of the fuel amid an economic boom, the agency said.

Developing countries in Asia will account for over 85pc of the growth in coal use over the next 25 years, the IEA predicts. As a result, China will by 2010 be belching out more greenhouse gases than the US.

Governments need to bite the bullet and embrace nuclear power to wean themselves from environmentally damaging fuels, the IEA said.

Combined with greater energy efficiency, that investment will more than pay off over the longer term.

"On current trends we are on course for a dirty, expensive and unstable energy future. In response, urgent government policy action is required," executive director Claude Mandil said. The stark warning comes a week after the UK Stern Report predicted failure to address climate change could tip the world into a new depression.

The IEA warned that we are likely to become increasingly reliant on unpredictable regimes such as Iran, Iraq and Russia for our oil and gas.

Oil prices may close in on the $100 mark by 2030, far higher than the IEA predicted last year.

If producers don't step up investment, a barrel of crude could rise above $130.

Source: McClatchy-Tribune Business News

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