Energy outlook bad for emissions

26th February 2015


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IEMA

Carbon emissions from energy consumption will grow by 1% a year between now and 2035, according to new analysis by energy company BP.

Its latest annual energy outlook warns that the trajectory for carbon emissions is significantly above the path scientists recommend. “The most likely path for carbon emissions, despite current government policies and intentions, does not appear sustainable,” writes BP chief executive Bob Dudley.

The report forecasts that, by 2035, global carbon emissions will be 18 billion tonnes above the International Energy Association’s 450 scenario. In this context, restricting the global increase in temperature to 2°C requires limiting the concentration of greenhouse- gases in the atmosphere to around 450 parts per million of CO2.

The BP report says that abating emissions will require additional steps by policymakers beyond those already assumed. It advises that no one option is likely to be sufficient on its own, and multiple options, ranging from increases in renewables to improvements in vehicle efficiency, will need to be pursued.

BP says policymakers must implement measures that lead to a “meaningful” global price for carbon. This would provide the right incentives for the most cost-effective investments to be made, says the report.

The oil and gas firm forecasts that energy demand will rise 37% over the next 20 years, mostly in non-OECD countries. It also predicts a change in the global energy mix over the next two decades, with increases in coal consumption declining sharply, and natural gas replacing it as is the fastest growing fossil fuel. The fastest growth will be in renewables, with capacity rising by around 6.3% a year.

Among non-fossil fuels, renewables, including biofuels, will gain share rapidly, from around 3% today to 8% by 2035, says BP. It forecasts that the overall shares of nuclear and hydro will decline, but the scaling up of renewables will lift the aggregate non-fossil share from 32% in 2013 to 38% by 2035.


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