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Fossil Fuel Use, Emissions Hit Records In 2023, Report Says

Overall global primary energy consumption hit an all-time high of 620 Exajoules (EJ), the report said, as emissions exceeded 40 gigatonnes of CO2 for the first time

Fossil Fuel Use, Emissions Hit Records In 2023, Report Says
Fossil fuel accounted for almost all demand growth in India in 2023, the report said

London: Global fossil fuel consumption and energy emissions hit all-time highs in 2023, even as fossil fuels’ share of the global energy mix decreased slightly on the year, the industry’s Statistical Review of World Energy report said on Thursday (June 20). Growing demand for fossil fuel despite the scaling up of renewables could be a sticking point for the transition to lower carbon energy as global temperature increases reach 1.5C (2.7F), the threshold beyond which scientists say impacts such as temperature rise, drought and flooding will become more extreme.

Also Read: Analysis: Despite COP28 Deal On Fossil Fuels, 1.5 Degrees Celsius Goal Likely Out Of Reach

Romain Debarre of consultancy Kearney said,

We hope that this report will help governments, world leaders and analysts move forward, clear-eyed about the challenge that lies ahead.

Last year was the first full year of rerouted Russian energy flows away from the West following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, and also the first full year without major movement restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall global primary energy consumption hit an all-time high of 620 Exajoules (EJ), the report said, as emissions exceeded 40 gigatonnes of CO2 for the first time.

Simon Virley of consultancy KPMG said,

In a year where we have seen the contribution of renewables reaching a new record high, ever increasing global energy demand means the share coming from fossil fuels has remained virtually unchanged.

The report recorded shifting trends in fossil fuel use in different regions. In Europe, for example, the fossil fuel share of energy fell below 70% for the first time since the industrial revolution.

Energy Institute Chief Executive Nick Wayth said,

In advanced economies, we observe signs of demand for fossil fuels peaking, contrasting with economies in the Global South for whom economic development and improvements in quality of life continue to drive fossil growth.

Also Read: Historic Deal On A ‘Transition Away From Fossil Fuels’, Adopted At COP28

Industry body the Energy Institute, together with consultancies KPMG and Kearney, has published the annual report since 2023. They took over from BP last year, which had authored the report, a benchmark for energy professionals, since the 1950s.

Fossil fuel accounted for almost all demand growth in India in 2023, the report said, while in China fossil fuel use rose 6% to a new high.

But China also accounted for over half of global additions in renewable energy generation last year.

KPMG’s Virley told reporters,

China adding more renewables than the rest of the world put together is remarkable.

Here are some highlights from the report on 2023:

Consumption

  • Global primary energy demand rose by 2% in 2023 from 2022, to 620 EJ.
  • Fossil fuel use rose 1.5% to 505 EJ, which accounted for 81.5% of the overall energy mix, down by 0.5% from 2022.
  • Fossil fuel use did not increase in a single European country in 2023.
  • Electricity generation rose by 2.5% in 2023, up slightly from 2.3% of growth the previous year.
  • Renewable fuel generation (excluding hydro) gained 13% to a new record high of 4,748 terawatt-hours (TWh).
  • Renewables’ share of the overall energy mix excluding hydro was 8%, up from 7.5% in the 2022 report.
  • Including hydro renewables accounted for 15% of the global mix

Also Read: Nitrous Oxide Emissions Grew 40 Per Cent In Last Four Decades, China Largest Emitter: Study

Oil

  • Oil consumption exceeded 100 million bpd in 2023 for the first time ever, following a 2% year-on-year rise.
  • Oil supply growth was met by non-OPEC+ producers, with U.S. output gaining 9% on the year.
  • China overtook the U.S. as the country with the largest refining capacity in the world last year at 18.5 million bpd, though refining volumes still lagged behind at 82% utilisation vs the U.S.’ 87%.
  • Global gasoline consumption hit 25 million bpd last year, just above its 2019 pre-pandemic level.
  • Biofuels production increased by 8% to 2.1 million bpd in 2023, driven by gains in the U.S. and Brazil.
  • The U.S., Brazil, and Europe accounted for 80% of global biofuels consumption.

Natural Gas

  • Global gas production and consumption remained relatively flat on the year in 2023.
  • LNG supply rose by almost 2% to 549 billion cubic metres (bcm).
  • The U.S. overtook Qatar as the leading global supplier of LNG after a 10% rise in production.
  • Overall European gas demand was down 7% on the year in2023.
  • Russia’s share of European gas supply was just 15% in 2023, from 45% in 2021.

Coal 

  • Coal consumption hit a new high of 164 EJ in 2023, up 1.6%on the year, driven by China and India.
  • India’s coal consumption exceeded that of Europe and North America combined.
  • U.S. coal consumption fell by 17% in 2023 and has halved in the last decade.

Also Read: Climate Change-Fuelled Extreme Weather Events Cost At Least USD 41 Billion Globally Since COP28

Renewables

  • The record high in renewable generation was driven by higher wind and solar capacity, with 67% more additions in those two categories in 2023 than 2022.
  • As much as 74% of net growth in overall power generation came from renewables.
  • China accounted for 55% of all renewable generation additions in 2023, and was responsible for 63% of new global wind and solar capacity.

Emissions 

  • Emissions grew by 2% on the year to exceed 40 gigatonnes.
  • Emissions rose despite the slight drop in fossil fuels’ share of the energy mix, because emissions within the fossil fuels category became more intense as oil and coal use rose and gas held steady.
  • The report notes that since 2000, emissions from energy have increased by 50%.

Also Read: How Is Climate Change Impacting Our Health?

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In a world post COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental well-being, self-care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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