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IEA Reports Global CO2 Emissions Hit Record High in 2023

Source: IEA


In a report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), it was revealed that Global energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 1.1% to billion tonnes in 2023 which is a record high.  The report was released on Friday and it stated that compared to 2022, the current number amounts to an extra 410 million tonnes.

The continuous development of solar PV, wind, nuclear power, and electric vehicles was crucial in slowing the rise in the use of fossil fuels, according to a new IEA report. The rise in CO2 emissions worldwide during the past five years would have been three times higher in the absence of these renewable energy technologies.

Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA, stated, “The clean energy transition has undergone a series of stress tests in the last five years, and it has demonstrated its resilience.” He emphasised the significance of the commitments made by nearly 200 countries at COP28 in Dubai, indicating the necessary steps to drive emissions downward. Finally, he underscores the importance of supporting emerging and developing economies in increasing their investments in clean energy to further drive the transition.

The European Union achieved a significant 9% reduction in CO2 emissions from energy combustion, amounting to a decrease of 220 Mt. This decline is similar to that observed during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

In the United States, there was a 4.1% decrease in CO2 emissions from energy combustion. Two-thirds of this reduction stemmed from the electricity sector. 

The IEA report pointed out that despite growth in their economies, the industrialised economies saw a historic decline in CO2 emissions, which meant it had reached its lowest point in 50 years, coinciding with a reduction in coal demand to levels reminiscent of the early 1900s. 

Reductions in industrial output, major renewable energy deployment, coal-to-gas conversions, and improvements in energy efficiency were all cited as contributing contributors to the drop in emissions. 

Notably, last year was the first time that at least half of the electricity generated in developed nations came from nuclear and renewable energy sources, both of which have minimal dimensions. 

As per the report, China's emissions surged as a result of its rapid economic expansion following the pandemic. Yet, China continued to lead the world in the use of sustainable energy. The increase in emissions in China was largely attributed to cyclical factors, such as a challenging hydrological year. As a result, emissions in China are currently higher per person than in developed nations.

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