Carbon emissions in the world’s developed economies are set to increase this year for the first time in five years, as higher oil and gas use has more than offset dwindling coal consumption, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday, calling for increased efforts to encourage renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency.
According to the latest available energy data, energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in North America, the European Union (EU), and the advanced economies in Asia Pacific are set to increase by 0.5 percent in 2018, bucking a five-year-long declining trend, the IEA said.
The Paris-based agency also expects carbon emissions at emerging economies to grow this year compared to last year. Full global emissions data for 2018 won’t be released until March next year, but the IEA expects emissions to have increased globally this year, on the back of higher energy use and 3.7-percent global economic growth.
“Global energy-related CO2 emissions need to peak as soon as possible and then enter a steep decline for countries to meet climate goals,” the IEA said today.
“Our data shows that despite the strong growth in solar PV and wind, emissions have started to rise again in advanced economies, highlighting the need for deploying all technologies and energy efficiency,” Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, noted.
Last year, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.4 percent to reach a historic high, the first increase in emissions after three years of global emissions remaining flat, the IEA has estimated. Carbon emissions growth last year was not universal, with emissions in major advanced economies, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, declining. The biggest decline in 2017 came from the United States, mainly because of higher deployment of renewables.
The latest UN report also showed last week that global CO2 emissions increased again in 2017 after a three-year hiatus.
“The science is clear; for all the ambitious climate action we’ve seen – governments need to move faster and with greater urgency. We’re feeding this fire while the means to extinguish it are within reach,” said the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Deputy Executive Director Joyce Msuya.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com