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Global emissions of carbon dioxide stand at 32.3 billion tonnes

By Roseline Okere
18 March 2015   |   3:20 am
DATA from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years.

carbon_emissionsDATA from the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that global emissions of carbon dioxide from the energy sector stalled in 2014, marking the first time in 40 years.

Specifically, global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the preceding year.

The preliminary IEA data suggest that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought.

“This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today,” said IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol.

The IEA attributes the halt in emissions growth to changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries. In China, 2014 saw greater generation of electricity from renewable sources, such as hydropower, solar and wind, and less burning of coal. In OECD economies, recent efforts to promote more sustainable growth – including greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy – are producing the desired effect of decoupling economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is both a very welcome surprise and a significant one,” added Birol. “It provides much-needed momentum to negotiators preparing to forge a global climate deal in Paris in December: for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth.”

“The latest data on emissions are indeed encouraging, but this is no time for complacency – and certainly not the time to use this positive news as an excuse to stall further action,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

Meanwhile, having bottomed‐out in the second quarter of 2014, global oil demand growth has since steadily risen, with year‐on‐year gains estimated at around 0.9 million barrels per day (mb/d) for the final quarter of last year and 1.0 mbpd for the current quarter, the IEA Oil Market Report for March informed subscribers. The forecast of demand growth for all of 2015 was raised by 75 kbpd to 1.0 mbpd, bringing global demand to an average 93.5 mbpd.

It added that global supply rose by 1.3 mbpd year‐on‐year to an estimated 94 mbpd in February, led by a 1.4 mbpd gain in non‐OPEC output. Declines in the US rig count have yet to dent North American output growth. Final December and preliminary current-quarter data show higher‐than‐expected US crude supply, raising the 2015 North American outlook.

It stated: “OPEC crude output edged down by 90 kbpd in February to 30.22 mb/d, as losses in Libya and Iraq offset higher supply from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Angola. The slightly higher demand forecast has raised the “call” on OPEC crude for the second half of 2015 to 30.3 mb/d, above the group’s official 30 mbpd target.

“Global crude refinery throughputs estimates have been raised to 77.8 mb/d for the current quarter and 77.3 mbpd for the second quarter on sustained high margins and a slightly more robust oil demand outlook. Annual gains are forecast at about 1.0 mbpd for the first half of 2015, down from a sharp 2.2 mbpd in the final quarter of 2014 and in line with projected oil product demand growth.

“OECD commercial stocks rose by a weaker‐than‐average 23.1 mb in January, to 2 733 mb, trimming their surplus to average levels to 60.3 mb. US crude stocks rose to a record 72 mb surplus. Preliminary data show stocks drew by a weak 8.8 mb in February as extended US crude builds offset steep weather‐related product draws”.