Tuesday, 07 April, 2020


Global energy-related carbon emissions flattened out in 2019

The Bayswater coal power plant in the Australian Upper Hunter Valley | Credit Zetter The Bayswater coal power plant in the Australian Upper Hunter Valley | Credit Zetter
Kristine Garrett | 14 February, 2020, 05:15

A new report stated the U.S.is leading the world in reducing carbon emissions, while also seeing economic growth.

After two years of growth, global Carbon dioxide emissions from energy were unchanged at 33 gigatonnes last year, even as the world economy expanded by 2.9 per cent in GDP terms, data released today by the IEA indicates - defying expectations the growth trend would continue in 2019.

"We now need to work hard to make sure that 2019 is remembered as a definitive peak in global emissions, not just another pause in growth", according to Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director. This includes support for the testing and deployment of such technologies as large scale energy storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear and carbon capture, all of which have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Solar and wind were also significant, as more countries showed how they switched from coal to natural gas.

Other factors helping to stem emissions growth past year included milder weather in several countries, as well as sluggish economic growth in some emerging markets, according to the IEA.

The IEA report went on to note that in developing nations emissions increased, with "almost 80% of the increase coming from Asia", and that China and India were two of the main contributors to emissions growth.

Aside from the Outlook, the IEA has said it is keen to create a "grand coalition" of governments, companies and investors seeking to align with the Paris Agreement.

Despite the Trump administration withdrawing the United States from the United Nations' Paris climate accord, the worldwide commitment to curb emissions and prevent global warming, the us had the largest decline in carbon dioxide emissions in a single country, falling 140 million tons, or 2.9%.

Japan's emissions fell by 45 million tonnes, or around 4%, the fastest pace of decline since 2009, as output from recently restarted nuclear reactors increased.

Emissions in the rest of the world grew by close to 400 million tonnes in 2019, with nearly 80% of the increase coming from countries in Asia where coal-fired power generation continued to rise. Across advanced economies, emissions from the power sector declined to the lowest levels since the late 1980s, when electricity demand was one-third lower than today. "The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens' access to affordable energy".

Globally, emissions flatlined in 2019. Progress toward those goals has been significant, as Dominion has cut carbon emissions approximately 50% since 2005 and reduced methane emissions by almost 25% since 2010.

The flatlining of emissions can be largely explained by the increased use of sustainable energy resources in the advanced economies of Europe and the US, which offset an increase in emissions in the rest of the world.

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