Increasing energy emissions mean world is heading in ‘opposite direction’ to 1.5°C targets

Increasing levels of energy-related emissions mean the world is heading in the ‘opposite direction’ to the 1.5°C target required by the Paris Agreement.

Global energy-related emissions increased by 0.8% in 2022, despite record growth of solar and wind power, according to the latest data from the Statistical Review of World Energy from the Energy Institute (EI) and partners KPMG and Kearney.

Global primary energy consumption grew by around 1% in 2022, taking it to nearly 3% above pre-Covid levels. Within this, gas consumption fell by 3% and renewables (excluding hydro) increased by 13%.

Despite this, the global dominance of fossil fuels remained largely unchanged at almost 82% of total consumption.

Energy Institute president Juliet Davenport said the emissions data shows “we are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris Agreement.”

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“Despite record growth in renewables, the share of world energy still coming from fossil fuels remains stubbornly stuck at 82%, which should act as a clarion call for governments to inject more urgency into the energy transition,” said KPMG head of energy and natural resources, Simon Virley.

The report highlights that post-lockdown, transport fuel demand patterns continued to return, but with major variations across geographies and fuel types.

Within the emissions data, China was a major outlier, in terms of jet fuel remaining significantly below its pre-Covid level, due to its ‘zero Covid’ policy.

The Ukraine conflict and curtailment of Russian supplies to Europe also precipitated record international gas prices in Europe (a threefold increase) and Asia (twofold), as well as unprecedented shifts in global oil and gas trade flows.

Kearney global sustainability lead Richard Forrest said the emissions report reinforces the need for “urgent action to get the world back on track to meet the Paris targets.”

Climate crisisEnergyNet zeroReports and data

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