Kate Mackenzie Energy prices still cause for concern, says IEA’s Tanaka

The IEA remains concerned that oil prices are going too high for the fragile global economy:

PARIS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – If oil prices continue to rise, they could damage a fragile economic recovery, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said on Tuesday.
“If prices move up further, it could create problems, but it depends on how the economic recovery happens,” Tanaka told reporters.

Tanaka gave a similar warning in early June, when oil prices were also in the $65 to $70 range. His language may be somewhat tempered – he does say it depends on how the economy recovers – but it’s interesting that despite the signs of economic improvement that some have leapt on, Tanaka views the risk as still present.

Incidentally, Tanaka was speaking on the launch of two new reports from the IEA, one on decarbonising industries, and another focusing specifically on the electricity sector. Two of the main points were reducing carbon emissions from the industrial sector using existing best available technology, which the IEA says could reduce emissions by 20 – 30 per cent. The agency is also urging carbon reduction in the carbon emissions from electricity, and particularly in emerging economies:

If the power sector in the developing world grows without any regard for climate change, it could alone threaten the world’s capacity to stabilise climate. “Power generation CO2 emissions outside OECD have grown by 90% since 1990, and are on a path to double from today’s level by 2030; this is highly unsustainable from a climate perspective and collective action is needed now,” Mr. Tanaka declared.

The press release is here and there are summaries of the industry report and the electricity sector report.

Related links:

Oil producers and consumers fret over prices (FT Energy Source, 27/04/09)
Oil price warnings gather pace: IMF, Saudi Arabia, IEA join in (FT Energy Source, 26/05/09)