Global CO2 emissions reach ‘historic high’, says report

ABU DHABI, 8th April, 2019 (WAM) — Higher energy demand drove up global CO2 emissions in 2018, hitting a new record of 33Gt, an International Energy Agency, IEA, report has revealed.

According to the IEA ‘Global Energy & CO2 Status Report’, energy demand worldwide grew by 2.3 percent in 2018, its fastest pace this decade. “Driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world,” global energy consumption increased at “nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010.”

This growth in energy consumption rates, the report explained, led to an increase of demand for all fuels, driven by natural gas accounting for 45 percent of the rise in energy consumption, even as solar and wind posted double-digit growth, with solar alone increasing by 31 percent.

“Still, that was not fast enough to meet higher electricity demand around the world that also drove up coal use,” it said, adding that fossil fuels reached nearly 70 percent of the growth in demand for the second year running.

“As a result, global energy-related CO2 emissions rose by 1.7 percent to 33.1 Gigatonnes, Gt, with coal use in power generation alone surpassing 10 Gt and accounting for a third of total emissions.”

While the IEA report noted that the increased use of renewables in 2018 had an impact, avoiding 215 Mt of CO2 emissions, coal-fired power generation continued to be the single largest emitter, accounting for 30 percent of all energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, with CO2 emissions reaching a “historic high”.

The agency, for the first time, assessed the impact of fossil fuel use on global temperature increases. It found that CO2 emitted from coal combustion was responsible for over 0.3 C of the 1 C increase in global average annual surface temperatures above pre-industrial levels. “This makes coal the single largest source of global temperature increase,” the report added.

The IEA works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and beyond, with a focus on four main areas: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and global engagement.

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