Greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity, transportation and construction sectors rose by 1.4% in 2017 globally.
This is not an encouraging fact for the “net” reduction target of the Paris climate agreement reached in December 2015. On Thursday, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has indeed indicated that global emissions of carbon dioxide related to the use of energy were again on the rise in 2017, after three years of stagnation.
Last November, the same trend was observed in the Global Carbon Project’s annual review of global greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.
For emissions from the electrical sector, transport or construction, an increase of 1.4% was noted last year to 32.5 gigatonnes, according to provisional data from the energy agency based in Paris .
This increase is the result of “robust” global economic growth (+ 3.7%), low prices for fossil fuels and lower energy efficiency efforts, says the IEA.
These same factors led to a 2.1% increase in global energy demand last year. “The significant growth in 2017 of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions indicates that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, quoted in the report.
Asia responsible for two-thirds of the increase
CO2 emissions from most major economies increased in 2017, but declined in some countries. This is particularly the case in the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan and the United States. In the US, CO2 emissions decreased by 0.5% for the third year in a row, due to the “greater deployment” of renewable energies, combined with a “decline” in demand for electricity.
Asia on the other hand is responsible for two-thirds of the increase in emissions, according to the agency. While China recorded a growth of nearly 7% last year, its emissions grew by only 1.7%, mainly due to the deployment of renewable energies. The country also tends to accelerate the replacement of coal with gas.
For the European Union, emissions increased by 1.5%, “reversing some of the progress made in recent years”, mainly due to increased use of oil and gas.