CO2 emissions may be starting to plateau, says global energy watchdog
(The Guardian, 2 Mar 2023) IEA records rise of less than 1% from energy use in 2022, but 7% reduction needed every year this decade to meet emissions goal.
Global carbon dioxide emissions are still rising but may at least be reaching a plateau, research from the International Energy Agency has shown.
CO2 from energy – by far the biggest source of emissions – increased by less than 1% in 2022. This was despite the turmoil in energy the markets caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The rise is smaller than the 6% increase in emissions from energy recorded by the IEA in 2021, a leap that came on the back of the rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, a 7% reduction is needed every year to meet the goal of halving emissions this decade.
Many experts had feared the soaring price of gas could push countries back towards using coal, which has much higher carbon emissions. But renewable energy seems to have been a big beneficiary, as countries opted for solar and wind power, and encouraged the take-up of heat pumps and electric vehicles (EVs). A mild start to Europe’s winter also helped to save energy across the EU.