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Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

A much larger investment in deployment of existing energy efficiency technologies and stronger policy measures would enable major progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris climate deal, the International Energy Agency said in a new report.

Why it matters: Nothing of the sort is happening right now, and in fact progress in energy efficiency is slowing, IEA warned.

What they found: The report lays out an "efficient world scenario" (EWS) — one that enables in gains in buildings, transportation, industry and buildings — to help energy-related emissions peak in 2020 and then fall significantly.

"Our study shows that the right efficiency policies could alone enable the world to achieve more than 40% of the emissions cuts needed to reach its climate goals without requiring new technology."
Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, via statement

By the numbers: The scenario envisions global investment of $584 billion annually through 2025, rising to $1.3 trillion annually in 2026–2040 — but nothing on that scale is happening today.

  • In fact, the report finds that expansion of conservation policies — such as incentives and efficiency standards —has slowed.
  • Global energy efficiency investment grew by 3% to $236 billion last year. That's far, far below the levels in the EWS scenario.
Screenshot of chart in IEA report "Energy Efficiency 2018"

And as seen in the chart above, there's been higher energy demand growth in the last year than in the recent past.

Put it all together and global energy intensity — an efficiency metric based on energy used per unit of GDP — fell by its smallest amount since 2010 last year, IEA said.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

2 hours ago - Health

Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot"

The government's top infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said Friday that he "absolutely" will accept the offer from President-elect Joe Biden to serve as his chief medical adviser, telling NBC's "Today" that he said yes "right on the spot."

Why it matters: President Trump had a contentious relationship with Fauci, who has been forced during the pandemic to correct many of the president's false claims about the coronavirus. Biden, meanwhile, has emphasized the importance of "listening to the scientists" throughout his campaign and transition.