Global energy demand increased by 2.1 per cent in 2017, growing at twice the rate recorded in the previous five years, International Energy Agency said today, adding the growth in energy demand led to global CO2 emissions reaching a historic high of 32.5 Gigatonnes (Gt) last year after three years of flat emissions.
The Paris based agency said in its Global Energy and CO2 status report 2017 that energy-related CO2 emissions growth in 2017 is a strong warning for global efforts to combat climate change and demonstrates that current efforts are insufficient to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
According to the IEA report, a decrease in global energy efficiency was another driver of the increase in carbon emissions. Energy efficiency slowed down dramatically in 2017, broadly caused by an apparent weakening of efficiency policy coverage and stringency, and by lower energy prices.
“The increase in carbon emissions, equivalent to the emissions of 170 million additional cars, was the result of robust global economic growth of 3.7 per cent, lower fossil-fuel prices and weaker energy efficiency efforts. These three factors contributed to pushing up global energy demand by 2.1 per cent in 2017,” IEA said. Over 40 per cent of the growth in energy demand last year was driven by China and India and Asian economies accounted for two-thirds of the global increase in carbon emissions.
The overall share of fossil fuels in global energy demand remained at 81 per cent, a level that has remained stable for more than three decades despite strong growth in renewable energy. “Fossil-fuels met 70% of the growth in energy demand around the world. Natural gas demand increased the most, reaching a record share of 22 per cent in total energy demand. Renewables also grew strongly, making up around a quarter of global energy demand growth, while nuclear use accounted for 2 per cent of the growth,” IEA said.
The report also said the trend of growing emission was not universal, with countries like United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Mexico and Japan experiencing a decline in their carbon emissions. The biggest decline has come from the US, where emissions dropped by 0.5 per cent to 4,810 million tonne of CO2, marking the third consecutive year of decline. The decline in emissions came on the back of higher renewable-based electricity generation, coal-to-gas conversion and decline in electricity demand. “The share of renewables in electricity generation reached a record level of 17%, while the share of nuclear power held steady at 20%,” IEA said.
Carbon emissions in UK dropped 3.8 per cent to 350 Mt of CO2, their lowest level since 1960. The reduction took place primarily on the back of continued shift away from coal to gas and renewable energy, which led to a 19 per cent drop in coal demand. Read More