ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- World leaders need to look to unilateral energy initiatives because they can't wait for a global climate deal, the IEA executive director said in Abu Dhabi.
Nobuo Tanaka, the executive director of the International Energy Agency, spoke during the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi. He blamed a "lack of ambition" in the effort to find a comprehensive clean-energy plan for exacerbating the threat posed by climate change.
"We cannot wait for a global climate deal," he said in his address. "Countries must act now to achieve a secure and cleaner energy future."
He praised a decision by the Emirati government to phase out an energy subsidy program that he said contributed to wasteful energy practices in the region.
Tanaka also pointed to China as a country that could determine the future of the world's energy policies.
China has one of the world's leading economies, is one of the highest consumers of energy and a growing emitter of greenhouse gases.
"The importance of China cannot be overstated," he said. "How China responds to the threats of global energy security and climate change will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world."