TechnologyGlobal CO2 emissions to rise by less than 1%...

Global CO2 emissions to rise by less than 1% this year thanks to renewables and electric cars

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Global emissions of carbon dioxide resulting from the burning of fossil fuels are expected to increase by less than 1% this year, as the expansion of renewable energies and electric vehicles counteracts the increase in demand for coal, the International Agency of Energy (IEA), reports Reuters.

In a report published on Wednesday, the IEA claims that global CO2 emissions would increase this year by almost 300 million tons, up to 33.8 billion tons, a much smaller advance than that of almost two billion tons recorded in 2021.

This year’s modest growth is due to electricity production and the aviation sector, as air travel has recovered from pandemic lows.

Although this year’s increase could have been much higher, possibly a billion tons, as the countries’ coal demand exploded after the war in Ukraine made natural gas more expensive, the advance of renewables and electric vehicles kept control the increase in CO2 emissions, emphasizes the IEA.

“The global energy crisis, triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has led many countries to turn to other energy sources to replace supplies of Russian natural gas that have disappeared from the market,” said IEA director Fatih Birol. “The good news is that photovoltaic and wind energy cover a large part of the gap, and the increase in coal consumption seems to be relatively small and temporary,” added Birol.

The IEA report claims that solar and wind power are leading an increase in global renewable energy capacity of more than 700 Terawatt-hours (Twh) this year, the largest increase ever recorded. Without this increase in renewable capacity, global CO2 emissions would have been 600 million tons higher this year.

Despite the drought in several regions, global hydropower production is higher than last year, and has contributed more than a fifth to the expected increase in renewable energy production.

According to the IEA, the EU’s total CO2 emissions are expected to fall this year, despite the fact that emissions from burning coal will be higher. The increase in the use of coal in the EU would be only temporary and the new renewable projects that will be connected to the grid next year will increase the renewable production capacities by approximately 50 Gigawatts.

According to Agerpres, in China, CO2 emissions would stagnate in 2022 compared to 2021 due to modest economic growth, the impact of drought on hydropower production and the expansion of photovoltaic and wind power production capacities.

The International Energy Agency is the main advisory body on energy issues of the 29 most developed countries. The agency was established in response to the first oil shock of 1973-1974, to coordinate the release of oil from reserve stocks. 

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