From: Reuters
Published December 16, 2007 06:31 AM

IEA urges bold steps to cut CO2 emissions: report

BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of the International Energy Agency urged world politicians to take bolder, if unpopular, action to curb CO2 emissions to fight climate change in an interview with a German magazine on Sunday.

Nobuo Tanaka told Der Spiegel magazine humanity was on track to discharge about 42 billion tons of CO2 per year in 2030, up from 27 billion tons, and that would lead to global temperature rises.

"That is a scenario which must not be allowed to become a reality," Tanaka was quoted as saying in the weekly magazine.

Politicians must find ways to put a price on CO2 emissions to spur industry to develop efficient technologies, he said.

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"Lawmakers will need a lot of courage. They must make clear to their people that in the medium term, it is the cheaper way," said Tanaka. "It's risky for politicians but they must do it."

The IEA advises 26 industrialized countries on energy policy.

"(Putting a price on emissions) could be done via an energy tax, pollution rights trading or other measures, but without a price for emissions, new technologies will not be developed."

The deposition and storage of CO2 from power plants will only be economic if the price for a ton of CO2 emissions is heading towards $50, he said.

On Saturday, nearly 200 nations agreed to launch negotiations on a new deal to battle global warming at U.N.-led talks in Bali. The agreement followed a last-minute reversal by the United States.

Tanaka made no comment on oil prices in the interview.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers, editing by Erica Billingham)

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