Global Carbon Emissions Remain Constant For Third Year In A Row

Carla Harmon
March 20, 2017

The German Government - set to receive G20 Presidency later this year - commissioned the first ever collaborative report between the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), to examine the economic costs and benefits of transitioning to a low-carbon future.

Ambitious measures would include "the rapid phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, CO2 prices rising to unprecedented levels, extensive energy market reforms, and stringent low-carbon and energy efficiency mandates would be needed to achieve this transition", it said. "The focus must be on the decarbonision of the global energy system as it accounts for nearly two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions", IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said.

"Critically, the economic case for the energy transition has never been stronger".


The IRENA scenario also predicts that more jobs will be created than lost.

Some 90% of energy Carbon dioxide emission reduction can be achieved through expanding renewable energy deployment and improving energy efficiency, IRENA and IEA said.

Globally, 32 gigatonnes of energy-related Carbon dioxide were emitted in 2015.


Still, the IEA said keeping emissions flat was not enough to prevent global temperatures from increasing by more than two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the IEA said. The Agency also indicates that past year renewable energy sources, including hydropower, supplied more than half of global electricity demand, with hydropower accounted for half of this share. The organisation found energy intensity improvements will double. The International Renewable Energy Agency report The IRENA report concludes that "early action is critical" and failure to act swiftly will only increase costs later.

The report, undertaken in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency, said the move to reduce global greenhouse gases could hold "significant consequences for the energy industry" if companies fail to adapt their portfolios in the wake of the Paris Agreement. Given this economic growth, demand for electricity grew 5.4%, two-thirds of which were supplied by renewable energy such as wind and hydro-electric, alongside nuclear. Deployment of heat pumps must accelerate and a combined total of 2 billion buildings will need to be new built or renovated.

Both reports concluded that fundamentally changing the way power is produced would require considerable investment - though there were would also be savings due to improvements in energy efficiency.


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