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article imageBP Report: Carbon emissions rise at fastest rate since 2011

By Karen Graham     Jun 12, 2019 in Environment
Extreme temperatures around the globe drove a sharp acceleration in energy demand over the past 12 months, causing carbon emissions to grow at the fastest rate since 2011.
British Petroleum's (BP) Statistical Review of World Energy - published for the 68th year and released on June 11 - has revealed that temperature fluctuations are increasing the world’s use of fossil fuels, in spite of efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
As energy consumption has grown, greenhouse gas emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which account for around two-thirds of total emissions, rose by 2 percent in 2018.
“It’s clear we’re on an unstable path with carbon emissions rising at their fastest rate since 2011,” said BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale in a briefing ahead of the release of the 2019 Statistical Review of World Energy, reports the Independent.
Dale added that the increase in carbon emissions was equivalent to driving an extra 400 million combustion engine cars onto the world’s roads.
The EU has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030
The EU has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030
Energy consumption growth was driven by natural gas, which contributed more than 40 percent of the increase. All fuels grew faster than their 10-year averages, apart from renewables, although renewables still accounted for the second largest increment to energy growth.
The driver behind the rapid increase in carbon emissions was the sharp increase in abnormally hot and cold days around the world, which in turn led consumers to use more energy for cooling and heating. This also resulted in a second consecutive annual increase for coal use, reversing three years of decline earlier this decade.
China, the US, and India together accounted for more than two-thirds of the global increase in energy demand, with US consumption expanding at its fastest rate for 30 years.
The increase in extreme weather events is directly correlated with increased energy use, said Dale, creating a vicious cycle. “If there is a link between the growing levels of carbon in the atmosphere and the types of weather patterns observed in 2018 this would raise the possibility of a worrying vicious cycle: increasing levels of carbon leading to more extreme weather patterns, which in turn trigger stronger growth in energy (and carbon emissions) as households and businesses seek to offset their effects”
Fossil fuels satisfied nearly 70 percent of a jump in global energy demand last year which outstripp...
Fossil fuels satisfied nearly 70 percent of a jump in global energy demand last year which outstripped the expansion of renewables and helped drive record-high greenhouse gas emissions
The report also shows "the growing mismatch" between our demand for climate action and the actual pace of our progress toward mitigating the impacts of the climate crisis, Dale said.
“At a time when society is increasingly concerned about climate change and the need for action, energy demand and emissions are growing at their fastest rate for years,” Dale said.
The report leaves policymakers around the globe with a big headache, and while BP may be a big contributor to oil and gas use, the company has at least acknowledged that there is a problem which needs to be fixed if climate change issues are to be properly addressed, according to Forbes.
“The world is on an unsustainable path,” said BP chief executive Bob Dudley, introducing the report on June 11. “The longer carbon emissions continue to rise, the harder and more costly will be the eventual adjustment to net-zero carbon emissions.”
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