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Renewables Temper 2022 Fossil Fuel Emissions

Despite concerns about the negative effects of the energy crisis on global decarbonisation progress, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion are expected to grow by just under 1% compared to 2021 levels. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) preview of its 2022 outlook noted that emissions are expected to grow by nearly 300 million tonnes this year to 33.8 billion tonnes. In comparison, last year CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion increased by nearly two billion tonnes. The more limited growth is due to the expansion of renewable energy capacity, the IEA said, adding that solar PV and wind are largely responsible for the increase, with an expected additional 700 terrawatt-hours (TWh) in capacity to be installed by the end of this year. This data was gathered from the latest monthly IEA country data submissions, statistical releases from national administrations, and economic growth assumptions made by Oxford Economics and the International Monetary Fund. It does not include CO2 emissions from non-renewable waste, industrial processes and flaring. Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director, said: “The global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a scramble by many countries to use other energy sources to replace the natural gas supplies that Russia has withheld from the market. The encouraging news is that solar and wind are filling much of the gap, with the uptick in coal appearing to be relatively small and temporary. This means that CO2 emissions are growing far less quickly this year than some people feared – and that policy actions by governments are driving real structural changes in the energy economy. Those changes are set to accelerate thanks to the major clean energy policy plans that have advanced around the world in recent months.”

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