You are here: Home » Reuters » News
Business Standard

Coal comeback spurs new carbon emissions growth, says BP

Reuters  |  LONDON 

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) - Global began rising again last year as the first pick-up in coal burning since 2013 overshadowed a record expansion in renewable energy, a report said.

demand accelerated in 2017 by 2.2 percent, but a 17 percent gain in clean power such as solar and wind did little to offset the dominance of fossil fuels in the rapidly expanding global economy.

Demand for hydrocarbons rose across the board, led by a 3 percent increase in natural gas consumption, the fastest since 2010, followed by a 1.8 percent rise in demand which far exceeded the average of the previous 10 years, data in benchmark annual Statistical Review of World showed.

The opening of new coal-fired power plants in and drove coal consumption higher by 1 percent, highlighting the difficulties developing economies face in meeting demand for while fighting pollution.

and other companies such as have led calls to reduce carbon emissions by converting coal power plants to

Still, the share of coal in power generation today remains around 38 percent, practically unchanged since 1997, while the share of non-fossil fuels slightly dipped as nuclear power capacity shrunk, said.

The power sector absorbs more than 40 percent of primary and accounts for over a third of carbon emissions.

"This is really worrying," Dale told reporters in a briefing before the report was released. "How much progress have we made in 20 years? None."

Carbon emissions grew last year by 1.6 percent, compared with little to no growth in the previous three years but still lower than average growth of 2.5 percent in the 10 years to 2014.

A landmark climate agreement reached in in 2015 calls for halving carbon emissions by 2040 and reducing them to net zero by the end of the century to limit global warming.

"Three years of flat growth was a step in the right direction, but it wasn't a big enough step," Dale said.

SHALE REDRAWS TRADE

Steady and robust growth in demand over the past five years, the strongest since 2007, was driven by lower crude prices but could be undercut by the recent rally that took prices to their highest since 2014, Dale said.

"There are some signs that the boost from may be beginning to wane," he added.

On the supply side, the surge in production of U.S. shale oil, also known has tight oil, has redrawn the global market. The overtook in 2017 to become the world's second biggest behind

A 2017 agreement between OPEC, and other major to reduce global output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), combined with a sharp fall in Venezuela's output, drove down global inventories to their five-year average, BP said.

But a 2 million bpd growth in U.S. oil and since October 2016 offset a large part of the cuts.

"OPEC has always had the power to stabilise the market in response to short-term fluctuations," Dale said. "OPEC has never had the power to try to offset structural long-term shocks to the market (such as) the emergence of new sources of supply and the growth of electric cars."

"The rapid response of U.S. just reinforces that point."

Rising exports of U.S. crude and new refineries in and the have also led to a surge in global oil trading, which grew by more than 4 percent last year compared to a 10-year average of 1.7 percent, Dale said.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Edmund Blair)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 19:32 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU