The 6 percent increase in CO2 emissions in 2021 was in line with the jump in global economic output of 5.9 percent.
The per capital CO2 emission in China now exceed the average in advance economics.
Global carbon emissions rises to all time high in 2021; Coal contributes 40 percent
New Delhi: Global CO2 emission from energy related sector rose to their highest level ever in 2021 to 6 percent, in which the coal accounted 40 percent of the overall growth, as per IEA’s detailed report of region-by-region and fuel-by-fuel released on Wednesday.
According to the report, a 6 percent increase from 2020 pushed emission to 36.3 gigatonnes (Gt), which is increased by almost 2.1 Gt.
This puts 2021 above 2010 as the largest ever year-on-year increase in energy-related CO2 emissions in absolute terms.
The agency said, Coal emissions now stand at an all-time high of 15.3 Gt, surpassing their previous peak (seen in 2014) by almost 200 Mt.
It added that the CO2 emissions from natural gas also rebounded well above 2019 levels to 7.5 Gt, as demand increased in all sectors.
“The 6 percent increase in CO2 emissions in 2021 was in line with the jump in global economic output of 5.9 percent. This marks the strongest coupling of CO2 emissions with Gross domestic product (GDP) growth since 2010, when global emissions rebounded by 6.1 percent, while economic output grew by 5.1 percent, as the world emerged from the Global Financial Crisis.” It said.
The agency said the Covid-19 pandemic had far-reaching impacts on energy demand in 2020, reducing global CO2 emissions by 5.2 percent.
“The rebound in 2021 more than reversed the pandemic-induced decline in emissions of 1.9 Gt experienced in 2020. CO2 emissions in 2021 rose to around 180 megatonnes (Mt) above the pre-pandemic level of 2019” the report said.
The agency also attributed that the biggest increase in CO2 emission took place in the electricity and heat production, where they jumped by more than 900 Mt.
“This accounted for 46 per cent of the global increase in emissions, since the use of all fossil fuels increased to help meet electricity demand growth,” it added. CO2 emissions from the sector neared 14.6 Gt, their highest ever level and around 500 Mt higher than in 2019.
The 6.9% increase in CO2 emissions from the electricity and heat sectors in 2021 was driven by the biggest ever year-on-year increase in global electricity demand. Rising by close to 1 400 terawatt-hours (TWh), or 5.9%, the growth in electricity demand in 2021 was more than 15 times the size of the drop in demand in 2020.
Talking about the green house gas emission, the IEA said the total greenhouse gas emissions reached 40.8 Gt of CO2 in 2021 above the previous all-time high in 2019.
“CO2 emissions from energy combustion and industrial process accounted for close to 89 percent of energy sector greenhouse gas emissions in 2021. CO2 emissions from gas flaring accounted for another 0.7%.
Beyond CO2, fugitive and combustion-related methane emissions represented 10 percent of the total, and combustion-related emissions of nitrous oxide 0.7 percent.
Methane emissions from the energy sector rose by just under 5 percent in 2021 but remain below their 2019 level.
The report said despite the rebound in coal use, renewable energy sources and nuclear power provided a higher share of global electricity generation than coal in 2021.
Renewables-based generation reached an all-time high, exceeding 8 000 TWh in 2021, a record 500 TWh above the level in 2020.
Output from wind and solar PV increased by 270 TWh and 170 TWh, respectively, while hydro generation declined by 15 TWh due to the impacts of drought, notably in the United States and Brazil.
Nuclear power output expanded by 100 TWh. Without increasing output from renewables and nuclear power, the rise in global CO2 emissions in 2021 would have been 220 Mt higher.
The report also indicates that the per capital CO2 emission in China now exceed the average in advance economics.
“On a per capita basis, CO2 emissions in advanced economies have fallen to 8.2 tonnes on average and are now below the average of 8.4 tonnes in China” it said.
“The overall average for advanced economies masks significant differences: per capita emissions average 14 tonnes in the United States, 6 tonnes in the European Union, and 3.2 tonnes in Mexico,” IEA said.