Contrary to the expectations of most global forecasts, the International Energy Agency has announced that global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions flatlined in 2019.
The IEA, which acts as an autonomous intergovernmental organisation for the international energy sector, announced that despite the world economy expanding by 2.9% over the past 12 months, global CO2 equivalent emissions remained unchanged at 33 gigatonnes. The agency explained that this was primarily due to declining emissions from electricity generation in developed nations, which came as a result of the increased role of renewables, the replacement of coal by natural gas, and higher nuclear power generation.
The substantial decrease in emissions from advanced economies offset continued growth in the developing world. Whilst the agency celebrated emissions flatlining after the previous two years had shown increases in emissions, the organisation noted that this would only be significant if emphasis was now put on decreasing emissions moving forward.
“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 Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director in a statement.
“We have the energy technologies to do this, and we have to make use of them all. 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.”
To encourage this direction, the IEA plans to publish a special report in June outlining recommendations for cutting global energy-related carbon emissions by one-third by 2030.
- For a full look at energy-related carbon emissions in 2019, see the report from the International Energy Agency.
- If you work with an organisation looking to reduce its environmental impact, check out the clean energy solutions offered by Planet Ark Power.
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