Global CO2 emissions to grow less than 1% this year thanks to renewables – IEA

Carbon emissions are expected to rise by nearly 300 million tons to 33.8 billion tons this year, a far smaller increase than their nearly 2 billion-ton jump in 2021, the International Energy Agency reports

LONDON, United Kingdom – Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are expected to rise by nearly 1% this year as the expansion of renewable energy and electric vehicles outweighs demand for coal, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

Carbon emissions are expected to rise by nearly 300 million tonnes to 33.8 billion tonnes this year, a far smaller increase than their nearly 2 billion tonnes jump in 2021, the agency said in a report.

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The surge this year has been driven by power generation and the aviation sector as air travel recovers from pandemic lows.

While that increase could have been much larger, at possibly 1 billion tons, as countries’ coal demand surged as gas prices skyrocketed due to the war in Ukraine, the use of renewable energy and electric vehicles has kept the rise in emissions under control .

“The global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted many countries to look to other energy sources to replace the natural gas supplies Russia has withheld from the market,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

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“The encouraging news is that solar and rare energy are filling much of the gap, with coal’s surge appearing to be relatively small and temporary,” he added.

According to the report, solar photovoltaic and wind power led to an increase in global renewable electricity generation of more than 700 terawatt hours (TWh) this year, the largest annual increase on record. Without this increase, global CO2 emissions would have been more than 600 million tons higher this year.

Despite droughts in several regions, global hydropower production is up year-on-year, accounting for over a fifth of expected renewable energy growth.

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The European Union’s CO2 emissions are expected to fall this year despite higher coal emissions. The surge in European coal consumption is expected to be temporary as a strong pipeline of new renewable projects is expected to add around 50 gigawatts of capacity next year.

In China, CO2 emissions are expected to remain flat in 2022 due to weaker economic growth, the impact of drought on hydropower and the use of sun and wind. – Rappler.com

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