According to the latest energy data, CO2 emissions in North America, the European Union and other advanced economies in Asia Pacific increase, as more oil and gas use more than offset declining coal consumption. Thus, IEA expects CO2 emissions in these economies to rise by about 0.5% in 2018.
Despite the fact that the growth in emissions is less than the 2.4% rise in economic growth, it makes it difficult to achieve the Paris Agreement goals.
These news come at a time when the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has opened in Katowice, Poland, on 3 December, gathering parties to push further work on the fight against climate change.
The conference, which coincides with the three year anniversary of the Paris Agreement adoption, is expected to finalize the rules for implementation of the Paris Agreement under the Paris Agreement work programme (PAWP). It will also include a number of high-level events, mandated events, action events and roundtables.
The IEA also expects emerging economies to produce more CO2 than last year. Namely, all indications point to emissions growth worldwide, driven by increasing energy use and the expansion of global economy expanding by 3.7%.
Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director, noted:
This turnaround should be another warning to governments as they meet in Katowice this week. Increasing efforts are needed to encourage even more renewables, greater energy efficiency, more nuclear, and more innovation for technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage and hydrogen, for instance
Energy-related CO2 emissions from advanced economies had fallen by 3% over the last five years. This was mainly due to a decline in coal consumption, because of a rapid growth in renewables sources of energy, more efficient equipment and appliances, and coal-to-gas switching.
However, global oil demand will grow significantly in 2018, along with global gas use, mainly driven by Chinese policies to reduce air pollution in cities. This will lead to a growth in global CO2 emissions in 2018. This growth will come after last year’s 1.6% increase, which stopped a three-year period of flat emissions between 2014 and 2016.
It is interesting that in the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, which is aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement as well as lower air pollution and universal energy access, global emissions fall by over 1% every year until 2025.