The International Energy Agency has said that greenhouse gas emissions could rise by up to 52% by 2030 unless urgent action is taken at a global level to curb pollution. Meanwhile, in the short term, oil and gas production infrastructure needs improving to avoid future shortages.

The IEA says that the world’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil risks severely hampering efforts to reach the targets on carbon emission reduction agreed under the Kyoto protocol.

However, the IEA also suggests that immediate problems involve the need for urgent investment in oil field infrastructure and refining capacity. Failure to invest in support infrastructure threatens to send the oil price spiraling beyond the levels seen this summer.

The IEA says that the major Middle Eastern oil producers need to have the confidence to invest in gas and oil equipment in the years to come, with the agency arguing that Saudi Arabia needs to make $174 billion worth of oil and gas-related spending by 2030 to cope with its forecast of demand.

These projected trends have important implications and lead to a future that is not sustainable, said IEA executive director Claude Mandil. We must change these outcomes and get the planet onto a sustainable energy path.