Global carbon emissions increased by their highest rate since 2011 last year. That’s according to a new report by BP, which found that the US, India and China combined, were responsible for two-thirds of this increase.
The BP Statistical Review of World Energy provides detailed and analysis of global energy data. Despite the acceleration in the use of renewables, such as wind and solar power, CO2 emissions went up by 2% in 2018. More worrying still, this represents the biggest jump in carbon emissions for seven years, after several years when the rate of increase had been in decline. Exacerbating matters, the global demand for energy rose by 2.9% last year, the biggest rate of growth since 2010.
Same coal story
The increase in CO2 emissions has been put down to continuing high levels of fossil fuel use. Coal consumption (+1.4%) and production (+4.3%) increased for the second year in a row in 2018, following three years of decline (2014-16).
Although energy generated by renewables was up 14%, this source is still only able to supply around a third of global energy consumption.
The United States recorded the largest-ever annual production increases by any country for both oil and natural gas, the vast majority of increases coming from onshore shale plays.
Spencer Dale, BP chief economist, said: "There is a growing mismatch between societal demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress, with energy demand and carbon emissions growing at their fastest rate for years. The world is on an unsustainable path."