Source: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis
LONDON—Global greenhouse gas emissions began rising again last year as the first pick-up in coal burning since 2013 overshadowed a record expansion in renewable energy, a BP report said.
Energy demand accelerated in 2017 by 2.2 percent, but a 17 percent gain in clean power such as solar and wind did little to offset the dominance of fossil fuels in the rapidly expanding global economy.
Demand for hydrocarbons rose across the board, led by a 3 percent increase in natural gas consumption, the fastest since 2010, followed by a 1.8 percent rise in oil demand which far exceeded the average of the previous 10 years, data in BP’s benchmark annual Statistical Review of World Energy showed.
The opening of new coal-fired power plants in India and China drove coal consumption higher by 1 percent, highlighting the difficulties developing economies face in meeting demand for electricity while fighting pollution.
Still, the share of coal in power generation today remains around 38 percent, practically unchanged since 1997, while the share of non-fossil fuels slightly dipped as nuclear power capacity shrunk, BP Chief Economist Spencer Dale said. “This is really worrying,” Dale told reporters in a briefing before the report was released. “How much progress have we made in 20 years? None.”
A landmark climate agreement reached in Paris in 2015 calls for halving carbon emissions by 2040 and reducing them to net zero by the end of the century to limit global warming.
More: Coal comeback spurs new carbon emissions growth, says BP