The Latest: Oil price drop threatens renewable energy's rise

The latest developments from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where business and political leaders are meeting to try to find solutions to major world economic and other problems. (All times local.)


10:30 am

The plunge in oil prices is a growing threat to the world's goal to reduce emissions through the increase in renewable energies.

The head of the International Energy Agency, which advises oil-importing countries, said Wednesday that the drop in costs for oil and gas threatens to reduce governments' incentives to improve energy efficiency — in their transportation networks, for example — as well as the installation of renewable energy plants.

Fatih Birol says energy efficiency has been driven not so much by environmental concerns but an interest in saving money, which is disappearing as fossil fuels become cheaper.

World countries agreed in December to limit the rise in global temperatures, a move that will require a ramp-up in the amount of energy that comes from renewable sources.

Birol warned a panel of energy experts gathered in Davos: "For renewables, life will not be easy."