Global CO2 Emissions Flatlined in 2019, Thanks to Expanding Role of RE

CO2 Emissions 2019

Beyond the coal-driven Carbon dioxide emissions decrease from 2019 to 2025, electric power sector Carbon dioxide emissions stay relatively constant throughout the projection period as the more economically viable coal power plants remain in service.

Similarly, despite Indian Prime Minister Nardendra Modi's approval of dozens of new coal mines, India's coal-fired electricity generation fell for the first time since 1973 as renewable energy output surged.

"Across advanced economies, emissions from the power sector declined to levels last seen in the late 1980s, when electricity demand was one-third lower than today".

The growth of renewable energy and fuel switching from coal to natural gas led to less emissions from advanced economies. The US recorded the largest emissions decline of any individual country, dropping by 140 million tonnes.

"We now need to work hard to make sure that 2019 is remembered as a definitive peak in global emissions, not just another pause in growth", said Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director.

Emissions fell sharply in some advanced economies, including the US and the European Union, offsetting increases in developing countries and emerging markets, the IEA said. An earlier 2019 report from the Global Carbon Project determined that fossil-fuel emissions ticked up about 0.6% a year ago, though the full range of estimates allowed for a slight dip. "The IEA is building a grand coalition focused on reducing emissions - encompassing governments, companies, investors and everyone with a genuine commitment to tackling our climate challenge".


IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol expressed hope that annual Carbon dioxide emissions would only decrease in the future.

He emphasized that the initiative would make coal plants smaller and more efficient, and also look for alternative uses for the fossil fuel which was once a livelihood to millions of families throughout coal country, but is now becoming a much smaller part of the US energy sector.

More information on EIA's US energy-related CO2 emission projections-including carbon intensity and energy intensity trends-is available in the full AEO2020, specifically in the chapter about emissions. "It is evidence that clean energy transitions are underway - and it's also a signal that we have the opportunity to meaningfully move the needle on emissions through more ambitious policies and investments".

He added that this welcome halt in emissions growth is grounds for optimism that the world can tackle the climate challenge this decade.

In Japan, emissions dropped by nearly 45 million tonnes, or around four per cent, representing the country's fastest pace of decline in over a decade thanks to output from recently restarted nuclear generators.

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