Amid a global gas crisis, countries are turning to coal, which has been pushing up carbon emissions that drive climate change, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned.
In its latest World Energy Outlook report, the IEA has forecast that annual investment in renewable energy and infrastructure needs to swell to some £2.9 trillion by 2030.
It comes as the UK’s Environment Agency has warned that adaptation to climate change is nearly as important as mitigating its effects.
Chair of the UK’s Environment Agency Emma Howard Boyd said: “While mitigation might save the planet, it is adaptation, preparing for climate shocks, that will save millions of lives. Choosing one over the other on the basis of a simple either/or calculation is like telling a bird it only needs one wing to fly.
“We can successfully tackle the climate emergency if we do the right things, but we are running out of time to implement effective adaptation measures. Our thinking must change faster than the climate.”
With the UN’s flagship climate conference just weeks away – the shadow business secretary Ed Miliband urged yesterday should not be allowed to become “the greenwash summit”.
“It’s time for the Prime Minister to get off his sun lounger, be a statesman and make Glasgow the success we need it to be. This summit must succeed.”
The world’s pivot towards renewables, while well on its way, is happening too slowly, the IEA warned.
So, what happens if temperatures rise by 2C?
The country’s Environment Agency has projected London’s sea level to rise by between 23cm by the 2050s and 45cm by the 2080s – which could trigger more flooding than what the capital had seen over the summer.
River flows will be more extreme, the agency added, with peak flows expected to be up to 27 per cent higher in the 2050s.
While public water supplies are expected to require more than 3.4 bn extra litres of water per day if no action is taken before 2050.
Summer rainfall is also anticipated to fall by some 15 per cent by the 2050s in comparison with a 1981 to 2000 baseline.
While winter rainfall has been forecast to increase by around six per cent by the 2050s and by eight per cent by the 2080s.