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Why did CO2 emissions grow 1.4% in 2017?

Klima - Et magasin om klimaforskning fra CICERO

Publisert 23.03.2018

Here is the answer according to the IEA "Global energy and CO₂ status report"

 Originally posted on Glen Peters twitter feed - all figures by IEA

Energy demand drives CO₂

 

* Energy demand grew by 2.1% in 2017, more than twice the rate in 2016
* 70% of the growth in (primary) energy demand was due to fossil fuels
* Renewables had similar growth to 2016, but a smaller share of the total increase in energy (25%)

 

Asia is King

 

* Global emissions up 1.4% in 2017 or 450MtCO₂
* China had 1.7% growth or 150MtCO₂ (of the 450)
* Rest of Asia grew 3% or 120MtCO₂
* WHOOPS: European Union *grew* 1.5% or 50MtCO₂
* US down 0.5% or 25MtCO₂ (calm before the storm?)

 

It is too soon to write the obituary for oil

 

* Global oil demand up 1.6%, more than twice the decadal average
* Increased vehicle ownership
* Increase SUVs & light trucks (particularly US)
* Robust growth in petrochemical feedstocks

 

The changing face of natural gas

 

* Grew 3%, well above the 1.5% of the last 5 years
* Abundant & low-cost supplies
* China led to 30% of global growth
* Last decade half the growth from power generation
* Steady shift, now 85% growth in industry & buildings

 

Coal is back in the black

 

* Coal demand up 1% in 2017
* Coal demand decreased in 2015 & 2016
* 2017 rebound driven entirely by increased coal-fired electricity
* Asia dominated the growth in coal
* Coal fed China's 6% increase in electricity demand

 

Renewables onwards & upwards

 

* Highest relative growth rate of any energy source
* Met around 25% of (primary) energy demand increase
* China & US accounted for half the increase in renewable electricity generation
* Pace of deployment remains below what is needed for 2°C

 

Electricity-demand

 

* Grew 3.1% in 2017, faster than primary energy growth
* Electricity demand remains closely linked to economic growth in emerging economies
* Renewables accounted for half the increase in generation
* Renewables supply 25% of generation, a record high

 

Energy efficiency

 

* Improvements in slowed down in 2017
* Declined by 1.7%, less than the 2.3% over last 3 years
* Caused by an apparent weakening of efficiency policy & lower energy prices
* Needs to decline by more than 3% to be in 2°C territory

 

It's the economy stupid!

 

Factors putting upward pressure on emissions:

* Stronger global economic growth
* A smaller decline in energy efficiency
* Carbon intensity a little lower than trend
* Energy & carbon intensity have to overcome economic growth for emissions to decline

Sources:

* IEA
* Web: https://www.iea.org/geco/emissions/
* pdf: http://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/GECO2017.pdf …