On the climate, the Agency said the window to avoid global warming of more than 2°C could be closed for good by 2017. Four fifths of the emissions needed to push temperatures past the limit of ‘dangerous’ climate change are already locked in by existing capital stock – power stations, buildings, factories. On current trends, the remainder will be locked in by 2017. It would, in theory, be possible to get back on track after that date by retiring capital stock before the end of its economic life, but that would push up the cost enormously. In the power sector, for every $1 of low carbon investment avoided before 2020, an extra $4.30 would need to be spent after 2020 to compensate for the additional emissions - one in the eye for the anti-wind brigade. In summary, says the IEA, "If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're heading".
Full article: http://www.odac-info.org/newsletter/2011/11/11