The growth of the global economy increases demand for oil, gas and even coal. And after three years of stagnation, greenhouse gas emissions are rising again. What makes it even more difficult to reach the objectives of the Paris agreement, Capgemini warns.
The lights are red. Despite the price increase per barrel of around 100% since January 2016, world oil demand rose by 1.6% in 2017significantly higher than the average annual increase of 1% over the last decade. For gas, it is worse: global demand has increased by 3%.
Only China is responsible for almost 30% of the increase. But also in Europe, after a fall between 2010 and 2014, demand for gas is rising: + 6.5% in 2016, + 5% in 2017. Even coal, though disappointed, sees demand to rise by 1% on a global scale, reversing the trend observed over the past two years. This increase is mainly due to demand in Asia due to the increase in coal production.
Consequently: after three years of stagnation, greenhouse gas emissions are rising again, recording an increase of 1.4% in 2017 and reaching a record level of 32.5 gigatonnes. These are some of the findings of the new edition of the Global Observatory of Energy Markets Capgemini.
"These growth rates can be explained by global economic growth, which strengthens global energy demand, coupled with population growth and living standards in some countries. the price increases did not burden this increase in energy demand" Analysis by Colette Lewiner, senior energy and utilities consultant at Capgemini.
Climate goals are more difficult
As a result, the already vulnerable targets of the Paris 2015 agreement, which are to keep the global warming below 2 degrees in 2050, are becoming even more difficult to achieve. "I'm not very optimistic about this, warns Colette Lewiner. Already, with all the commitments of the participating countries in 2015, we have reached an overall temperature increase of 3 degrees, which would have very damaging consequences. I do not see very well in the current economic context how governments will be able to strengthen their commitments to limit global warming to 1.5 ° C in 2050. "
"The measures taken by the European Union to achieve a higher carbon price are largely inadequate. The price of 20 euros per tonne is not enough. We will have to reach about 55 euros per tonne.
We know that US President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw from the Paris climate deal, which weakens global efforts to combat global warming. However, in 2017, energy-related greenhouse gas emissions continued to decline in the United States, but slower than in the past.
"At present, renewable energy subsidies, which are often regional, have not decreased, point Colette Lewiner. I believe that despite everything, the consumption of cars will be reduced, and that shale gas will continue to replace coal. Therefore, it is not certain that US greenhouse gas emissions will increase, but under the Paris agreement, the United States promised a reduction of 26-28% of greenhouse gas emissions. 2025 compared to 2005. It is likely to be a long way, now that the US economy is operating at full speed. "
And in Europe, climate targets are threatened. The European Union has planned to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% in 2020 compared to 1990. A target that could still be achieved. but the reduction of 43% in 2030 and 60% in 2040 seems difficult to achieve, while figures released by the European Commission show that ETS emissions rose by 1.8% in 2017, the first increase in seven years. "This shows that the measures taken by the European Union to achieve a higher carbon price are largely inadequate. A price of EUR 20 per tonne is not enough. It should be around EUR 55 per tonne, " says Colette Lewiner.
China, the second largest consumer of energy in the world and the largest greenhouse gas emitter, also notes the increase in emissions, but has not denied the Paris accord. It actively develops renewable energy sources – installed 53 GW photovoltaic capacity in 2017, almost half of the new solar installations in the world. And its Blue Sky policy aims to reduce its share of coal and increase its share of gas.
"But there is the rest of the world. India, for example, still consumes many coal, and will see his population exceed that of China. In many African countries where there are still many areas without lighting, the needs and priorities are different and we can not blame them. But it contributes to the threat of climate goals. "