IEA: ‘Global CO2 emissions rose less than initially feared’

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by under 1% in 2022, which is less than initially feared. The growth of solar, wind, EVs, heat pumps, and energy efficiency helped limit the impacts of increased use of coal and oil amid the global energy crisis. That is the conclusion of a recent analysis, ‘CO2 Emissions in 2022’, published by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

CO2 emissions caused by energy consumption use rose less than 1% (0,9%, to be specific, to 321 million tons) in 2022 while the economy grew by 3,2%. In 2020, global emissions fell by 5% due to the corona pandemic; the following year, they quickly rose again by 6%.

Call for action

Although the rise in emissions last year was far smaller than the exceptional jump of over 6% in 2021, emissions still remain on an unsustainable growth trajectory, calling for stronger actions to accelerate the clean energy transition and move the world onto a path toward meeting its energy and climate goals.

Extreme weather events, including droughts and heatwaves, as well as an unusually large number of nuclear power plants being offline, contributed to the rise in emissions. However, an additional 550 million tons of emissions were avoided by the increased deployment of clean energy technologies.

Climate goals

“Without clean energy, the growth in CO2 emissions would have been nearly three times as high,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “However, we still see emissions growing from fossil fuels, hindering efforts to meet the world’s climate targets. Fossil fuel companies must take their share of responsibility, in line with their public pledges to meet climate goals.”

CO2 emissions from coal grew by 1,6% as the global energy crisis continued to spur a wave of gas-to-coal switching in Asia and, to a lesser degree, in Europe. CO2 emissions from oil grew even more than those from coal, increasing by 2,5% but still remaining below pre-pandemic levels.

Record deployment of renewables

China’s emissions were broadly flat in 2022 as strict Covid-19 measures, and declining construction activity led to weaker economic growth and reductions in industrial and transport emissions. Emissions from Asia’s emerging and developing economies, however, increased by 4,2%, reflecting their rapid economic and energy demand growth.

The European Union’s emissions fell by 2,5%, thanks to record deployment of renewables helping ensure the use of coal was not as high as some observers had anticipated. In the United States, emissions grew by 0,8% as buildings increased their energy consumption to cope with extreme temperatures.








Ready to join the conversation?

You must be an active subscriber to leave a comment.

Subscribe Today

You Might Also Like

%d bloggers like this: