This year’s economic recovery will lead to the second-highest increase in carbon dioxide emissions worldwide this year. This is what the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted in Global Energy Review 2021. The organization expects a nearly five percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
Last year, emissions fell dramatically, when a large part of the world’s production was halted as a result of the Coronavirus. The main reason for the expected increase in carbon dioxide emissions is the use of coal to generate electricity. Use of this increases by 4.5 percent. This means that usage is above the level before the Corona crisis.
80 percent of the increase in coal use is occurring in Asia, led by China (50 percent). Coal use is also increasing in Europe and the United States, but here it will not exceed volumes in 2019, the International Energy Agency believes.
Politicians have been talking about a “green recovery” of the economy after the Corona epidemic for a year, but that does not appear to be the case at the moment. “This is a direct warning that the economic recovery is far from climate sustainable,” says IEA Director Fatih Birol: “If governments around the world do not quickly come up with measures to cut emissions, the situation will only get worse next year.”
Birol called on world leaders to initiate additional policies to cut carbon dioxide emissions at a summit with US President Biden on Friday.
Sun and wind
As the use of coal increases, the share of sustainably generated electricity in the energy mix increases at the same time by eight percent. Thus solar and wind energy provide more than half of the increase in electricity demand.
The International Energy Agency predicts that thirty percent of the energy that will be used worldwide this year is sustainable. This represents an increase of 3% compared to 2019. China is also playing a leading role in increasing renewable energy. The country is likely to provide nearly half of the increase in renewable electricity, followed by the United States, Europe and India.
Despite the economic recovery, oil demand is lagging behind and is 3 percent below the 2019 level. In road transport, oil demand is not expected to recover until the end of this year.
This will likely take longer to fly. The International Energy Agency expects kerosene demand to remain 20 percent below 2019 levels by the end of this year. A complete recovery in oil demand will lead to an additional 1.5 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
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