• Energy-related global carbon dioxide emissions rise 1.7% in 2018

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.7% (or 560 megatonnes) in 2018, according to the International Energy Agency’s Global Energy & CO2 Status Report. As the global economy expanded by 3.7%, energy demand rose by 2.3%, with that demand being satisfied by an additional 143 Mtoe of gas, 81 Mtoe of renewables, 54 Mtoe of oil, 27 Mtoe of coal, and 23 Mtoe of nuclear (meaning fossil fuels supplied 70% of the world’s additional energy). The largest CO2 emissions rises came from India (an increase of 4.8%, or 105 Mt), the USA (3.1%, though the US’s emissions continue to be at around 1990 levels), and China (2.3% or 230 Mt), while emissions from Europe, Japan and Mexico were down. (Total energy-related emissions were 33.1 gigatons.) Coal firing was the largest contributor to energy-related carbon emissions, accounting for 30%, though switching from coal to gas firing around the world meant 95 Mt of avoided carbon dioxide emissions. Electricity generation from renewables increased a substantial 7% over 2018. Amidst the gloomy news of increased global carbon emissions, perhaps the best news came from Europe, where emissions decreased 1.3% while the economy grew 1.8%. In the UK, carbon emissions were “some of the lowest levels recorded since 1888”.