Previous Trends in Global GHG Emissions Reversed in 2017


By John Gale

25 July 2018

BP’s 67th Annual Statistical Review, which came out in June 2018, reports that in 2017 energy markets took a step backwards which is not good news. For the first time in three years, CO2 emissions rose again and global carbon emissions from energy consumption increased by 1.6%.

Global primary energy consumption grew at 2.2% in 2017, the fastest growth since 2013. The good news here was that growth was led by natural gas, renewables, and that coal’s share of the energy mix continued to decline globally.

The message from BP is that, after three years of steady greenhouse gas emissions, a blip could be expected. Let’s hope the blip does not become a trend in coming years.

The review also once again highlights the significant impact that China has on developments in the global energy sector. Natural gas was the largest source of energy growth, apparently boosted by a massive programme of coal-to-gas switching in industrial and residential sectors in China, which hopefully will result in GHG emissions reductions and improved air quality in the future.

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