Press "Enter" to skip to content

Weak growth in carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 due to an unexpected decline in global coal use

Madrid: Substantial decline in coal use in the United States and the European Union combined with slower growth off coal use in China and India and weaker economic growth globally particularly in China an India have contributed to slowing down carbon dioxide emissions.

Despite the slowdown, global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 0.6 percent in 2019. This increase though substantially lower compared to the previous two years–1.5% in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018—is due to a robust growth in natural gas and oil use. Natural gas has been the dominant driver of global emissions since 2012.

The Global Carbon Budget 2019, an abnnual analysis of the trends in global carbon cycle published by the Global Carbon Project launched at the UN climate summit in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, is no cause for celebration.

“The weak growth in carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 was due to an unexpected decline in global coal use, but this drop was insufficient to overcome the robust growth in natural gas and oil consumption,” said Glen Peters, Research Director at CICERO.

Researchers involved in the preparation of the report said that global carbon emissions are still heading in the wrong direction and that governments need to be rapidly decarbonising.

The report finds that current government policies are not enough for the aggressive emission reduction that is required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. “Carbon dioxide emissions must decline sharply if the world is to meet the ‘well below 2°C’ mark set out in the Paris

Agreement, and every year with growing emissions makes that target even more difficult to reach,” said Robbie Andrew, a Senior Researcher at the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

The recent growth in low carbon technologies have at best slowed the growth in global fossil fuel emissions. “Despite political rhetoric and rapid growth in low carbon technologies such as solar and wind power, electric

Vehicles, and batteries, global fossil CO2 emissions are likely to be more than 4% higher in 2019 than in 2015, when the Paris Agreement was adopted,” Peters said.

Indian emissions are projected to rise by 1.8 percent in 2019, which is considerable lower that the 8 percent growth in 2018. This drop is driven by the fact that the India’s economy has slowed significantly through 2019, dampening consumption of coal and oil, and production of cement. Another factor contributing to the drop is the above average rainfall in the 2019 monsoon, particularly the heavy rainfall in September that led to flooded coal mines and high hydropower generation.

Source: Economic Times