Global carbon emissions skyrocketed last year at the fastest rate in seven years

Global carbon emissions jumped the most in seven years in 2018 as energy demand surged, according to BP’s annual review of world energy


The BP Statistical Review of World Energy is viewed as an energy industry standard, pooling data on everything from the size of countries’ oil reserves to their production of renewable energy and various consumption rates.

What Happened?

The report concludes that global primary energy consumption grew rapidly in 2018, led by natural gas and renewables. Nevertheless, carbon emissions rose at their highest rate for seven years

It found that global energy demand grew by 2.9 percent. Part of that rise was met by booming shale rock reserve exploitation in the United States, which recorded the fastest rise of oil and natural gas production in the world, the report said.

Why It Matters

The report emphasized that the world isn’t close to meeting the recent Paris climate accord goal of keeping a global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

If anything, it’s getting worse.

“There is a growing mismatch between societal demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress, with energy demand and carbon emissions growing at their fastest rate for years,” said BP chief economist Spencer Dale.

Governments across the world are coming under intensifying pressure from campaigners to set deadlines by which they will cut their net greenhouse emissions to zero.

“The longer carbon emissions continue to rise, the harder and more costly will be the necessary eventual adjustment to net-zero carbon emissions,” said BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley. “As I have said before, this is not a race to renewables, but a race to reduce carbon emissions across many fronts.”

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