Global carbon (CO2) emissions set a new record despite declining pollution in Europe and China. The energy crisis in the world, which led to a reduction in hydrocarbon consumption in two of the three largest economies on the planet, did not help either. This is reported by Bloomberg with reference to the report of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The IEA estimates that total energy-related emissions increased by 0.9% in 2022 to over 36.8 billion tonnes. At the same time, this growth is considered by the IEA rather as a positive result, since much higher growth was predicted. Experts feared that the growth in consumption of the dirtiest hydrocarbon - coal - would lead to more serious consequences, but they were avoided.
“The effects of the energy crisis have not led to the significant increase in global emissions that was initially feared. However, we are still seeing an increase in pollution from fossil fuels, hindering efforts to meet global climate targets,” said Fatih Birol, head of the IEA.
The European Union cut emissions by 2.5% amid the energy crisis in 2022, partly helped by measures that were supposed to reduce hydrocarbon consumption, as well as warm weather last winter. The agency notes that the measures taken by the EU helped even offset the increase in consumption of traditionally “dirty” coal generation, the reduction of nuclear capacity against the backdrop of preventive work at French nuclear power plants and the decrease in energy generation by European hydroelectric power plants due to a prolonged drought in 2022.
The world's biggest polluter, China, cut its emissions by 0.2% in 2022. Beijing was helped by a slowdown in the economy amid coronavirus restrictions: the closure of enterprises led to a reduction in emissions. But in the United States, last year, on the contrary, there was an increase in production and an increase in harmful emissions into the atmosphere - according to the IEA, in 2022, emissions in the United States increased by 0.8%.
Approximately one fifth of the increase in emissions in 2022 was triggered by abnormal natural phenomena. About 66% of the increase in emissions was due to global warming and increased energy costs for cooling - primarily air conditioners. Among countries, developing Asia showed the largest increase in emissions, as more than half of the energy generation in this region comes from coal. The IEA estimates the total emissions in 2022 at 321 million tons of CO2.