Smoke belches from a coal power station near Datong in China’s northern Shanxi province. China led the world’s energy growth in 2018. Photograph: Greg Baker/AFP/Getty Images
BP report reveals swings in global temperatures are increasing use of fossil fuels
Tue 11 Jun 2019 09.42 EDT Last modified on Tue 11 Jun 2019 19.55 EDT
Carbon emissions from the global energy industry last year rose at the fastest rate in almost a decade after extreme weather and surprise swings in global temperatures stoked extra demand for fossil fuels.
BP’s annual global energy report, an influential review of the market, revealed for the first time that temperature fluctuations are increasing the world’s use of fossil fuels, in spite of efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
The recorded temperature swings – days which are much hotter or colder than normal – helped drive the world’s biggest jump in gas consumption for more than 30 years.
They also resulted in a second consecutive annual increase for coal use, reversing three years of decline earlier this decade.
Carbon emissions climbed by 2% in 2018, faster than any year since 2011, because the demand for energy easily outstripped the rapid rollout of renewable energy.
That level of growth in emissions represents the carbon equivalent of driving an extra 400m combustion engine cars onto the world’s roads, said Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist.