The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that the global economic downturn could have a positive impact on the environment.

According to IEA research, greenhouse gas emissions will fall by 3% this year, attributing this in part to the global economic downturn.

Despite this reduction, the IEA has urged governments to invest in clean technology in order to keep global temperature rise below the G8 goal of 2C (3.6F).

In a foreword to the IEA’s latest report, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN climate convention (UNFCCC), warned that a global deal at December’s climate change summit in Copenhagen was essential.

He said: “These results should motivate us all to step up efforts to reach an agreement with the requisite ambition. The cost of addressing climate change is manageable. The cost of not doing so is unaffordable."