2018 spike in energy demand spells climate trouble: IEA

Paris, March 26: A 2.3 percent jump in global energy demand last year outstripped the expansion of renewables and helped drive record-high greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday.

Fossil fuels satisfied nearly 70 percent of that growth for the second year running, with natural gas accounting for 45 percent of the rise in energy consumption, according to the Agency's Global Energy & CO2 Status Report.

Double-digit growth in solar and wind power generation — 31 percent for solar — was still not fast enough to meet soaring electricity demand that also pushed up the use of coal, the most carbon-intensive of fuels.

“We have seen an extraordinary increase in global energy demand in 2018, growing at its fastest pace this decade,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“But despite major growth in renewables, global emissions are still rising, demonstrating once again that more urgent action is needed on all fronts” to tackle climate change, he added.

Energy-related global CO2 emissions rose 1.7 percent to a record 33 billion tonnes last year compared to 2017, which likewise saw unprecedented levels of carbon pollution.

CO2 emissions in 2018 from coal used to generate power surpassed 10 billion tonnes for the first time, Birol said.

That energy mostly came from coal-fired plants a dozen years old on average — not even a quarter of their typical lifespan.

This raises the question of whether their continued use — much less the construction of new ones — is compatible with the 2015 Paris climate treaty, which calls for capping global warming at “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and at 1.5C if possible.



Posted on: 2019-03-26T09:19:00+05:00