Thursday 2 March 2023

IEA: ‘Renewable deployment helped limit rise in carbon emissions’

IEA: ‘Renewable deployment helped limit rise in carbon emissions’

Carbon emissions in 2022 rose less than was originally feared, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has said.

In its latest report, the agency found that emissions saw an uptick of less than 1% last year – as an increase in renewables, electric vehicles (EVs) and heat pumps helped to balance an increase in coal and oil.

In 2021, emissions jumped by 6% – but the IEA states that although last year’s increase was far less, the trajectory is still not right if worldwide climate goals are to remain achievable.

There was a 321 million tonne rise in carbon emissions last year, taking the total to 36.8 billion tonnes.

The deployment of clean energy and technologies did see 550 million tonnes of emissions avoided, however.

Coal emissions saw a 1.6% spike, as a result of the energy crisis; with Asia the main continent switching from gas to coal to keep the lights on for an affordable price.

Despite the fall in gas use after the Ukraine invasion, the increase in coal saw this drop in emissions cancelled out.

Record deployment of renewables saw the European Union’s emissions drop by 2.5% – but the US saw a 0.8% increase, with energy use in buildings increasing to cope with extreme temperatures.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “Without clean energy, the growth in carbon emissions would have been nearly three times as high. We still see emissions growing from fossil fuels, hindering efforts to meet the world’s climate targets.

“International and national fossil fuel companies are making record revenues and need to take their share of responsibility, in line with their public pledges to meet climate goals. It’s critical that they review their strategies to make sure they’re aligned with meaningful emissions reductions.”

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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