The financial and economic crisis has had a considerable impact on the energy sector worldwide. Investment in polluting technologies has been deferred and carbon dioxide emissions could fall in 2009 by as much as 3% � steeper than at any time in the last 40 years, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its new study, a special early excerpt of the World Energy Outlook (WEO) 2009. This would lead to emissions in 2020 being 5% lower � even in the absence of additional policies � than the IEA estimated just 12 months ago. Presenting the excerpt at the UNFCCC climate change talks in Bangkok, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said, "This gives us a chance to make real progress towards a clean-energy future, but only if the right policies are put in place promptly. The success of the UNFCCC process is crucial in this regard." "The message is simple and stark: if the world continues on the basis of today's energy and climate policies, the consequences of climate change will be severe. Energy is at the heart of the problem � and so must form the core of the solution. For this very reason, following discussions with IEA member governments and the UNFCCC Secretariat, I took the unprecedented decision to present an exceptional early release today of the climate change work of our flagship publication WEO 2009 to provide a timely contribution towards a landmark agreement in Copenhagen," said Mr Tanaka. The IEA 450 ppm Scenario sees the use of fossil fuels peak before 2020, and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions just 6% higher in 2020 than in 2007. Relative to a Reference Scenario of current policies, emissions in 2020 would need to be reduced by 3.8 gigatonnes (Gt) worldwide to achieve the 450 Scenario.