The latest bombshell report from the International Energy Agency recommending the abrupt halt of all new oil, natural gas and coal projects has shaken up the global energy complex, but few see the pathways as clear as the agency does.
Last week, the IEA advocated shelving new hydrocarbons projects if the world is to meet its net zero targets by 2050. The change of tone for an agency that was set up to ensure oil security in the aftermath of the Arab oil embargo of 1973 underscores the massive upheavals under way in the global energy complex, but it also highlights the difficulty of switching to renewable energies.
Canada was one of the 17 founding members of the IEA that gave the autonomous agency — hosted at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris — a broad mandate on energy security and energy policy back in the 1970s.
One of its key mandates? “Setting up a collective action mechanism to respond effectively to potential disruptions in oil supply.” And now the agency itself is calling for an end to all new oil projects.
Antoine Halff, a former chief oil analyst at the IEA, says while the report marks a change of tone from previous reports, it’s not the first time that the IEA has changed its message.