15 January 2019
IEA, Global Carbon Project Forecast Global CO2 Emissions Growth
Photo by Patrick Hendry
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Global CO2 emissions are expected to rise by more than 2% in 2018 due to an increase in coal use and continued growth in oil and gas utilization, according to the Global Carbon Project.

The International Energy Agency anticipates that emissions from industrialized economies will increase by around 0.5% in 2018, ending to a five-year decline.

7 December 2018: The Global Carbon Project and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have forecast increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, both globally and in industrialized countries, following a five-year decline. The IEA also expects emerging economies to emit more CO2 in 2018 than in 2017.

Global CO2 emissions are expected to rise by more than 2% in 2018 due to an increase in coal use and continued growth in oil and gas utilization, according to the latest data from the Global Carbon Project, which publishes annual analyses of trends in the global carbon cycle. The Project seeks to develop a complete picture of the global carbon cycle, including its biophysical and human dimensions and interactions between them.

Global emissions growth can be addressed by encouraging more renewables and greater energy efficiency, among other solutions.

The IEA anticipates emissions from industrialized economies to increase by around 0.5% in 2018, ending a five-year decline. Over the past five years, energy-related CO2 emissions from advanced economies fell by around 3%, mainly due to a decline in coal consumption, growth in renewables, the spread of more efficient equipment and appliances, and coal-to-gas switching. However, energy-related CO2 emissions in North America, the EU and advanced economies in the Asia-Pacific are now expected to grow. According to the Agency, over the course of 2018, increased oil and gas use more than offset decreased coal consumption in these countries.

While the IEA’s global energy and CO2 data for 2018 will be released in March 2019, indicators point to global emissions growth from increased energy use and an expanding global economy. Like the Global Carbon Project, the IEA expects that increased global oil demand and gas use, as well as new coal power plants, will lead to a growth in global CO2 emissions.

To address this trend, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol stresses the need to encourage: more renewables; greater energy efficiency; more nuclear; and more innovation for technologies, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage and hydrogen. In the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario, aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, global emissions fall by over 1% every year to 2025.

The findings by the Global Carbon Project and IEA contributed to available scientific evidence for the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC, which met in Katowice, Poland, in December 2018, to adopt implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement. [Carbon Budget 2018 Landing Page] [Global Carbon Project Website] [WMO Press Release] [WMO GHG Bulletin Article on Global Carbon Budget] [IEA News Story]

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