Global policy and technology efforts aimed at reducing emissions are not doing enough to set the world on a safe carbon path, according to BP, which predicts global emissions in 2030 will be 27% higher than today.
The BP Energy Outlook 2030 says energy policy and technology will help to slow the growth of carbon dioxide emissions growth over the next 20 years, but will not be “fast enough to put the world on a safe carbon trajectory”.
Under the mostly likely scenario, BP projects growth in global emissions will fall from 1.9% per annum in the years 1990-2010 to 1.2% annual growth from 2010 to 2030, an outcome which would see 2030 emissions 27% higher than 2011.
Strong energy consumption growth in non-OECD countries, such as China, India, Russia and Brazil, is expected to drive continued growth in carbon emissions. BP forecasts global energy consumption growth will rise nearly 40% over the next 20 years, slightly lower than the 45% rise experienced in the years 1990-2010.
Carbon abatement policies in OECD countries are expected to reduce emissions in 2030 by 10% from current levels, but “this decline is more than offset by the growth in non-OECD emissions”, BP said. Non-OECD emissions are projected to grow 2.2% annually, up 53% by 2030.
The conclusions imply “some progress towards climate change goals”, said BP, but fails to set the world on a path to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions at 450 parts per million, in line with International Energy Agency recommendations.
Aggressive policies could halt emissions growth
Stronger climate policies could see emissions fall by 2030, BP said, outlining how a second scenario, based on more aggressive climate policies, could see global emissions peak just after 2020, to 21% above 2005 levels, or 14% lower than in the most likely scenario. The emission cuts would be achieved through a combination of more rapid efficiency gains, fuel switching, and carbon capture and storage in gas and coal plants.
While the most likely scenario sees carbon emissions continuing to rise, it projects growth of non-fossil fuels, such as renewables, nuclear and hydro, will accelerate over the next 20 years.
Fossil fuels will account for 64% of the growth in energy use by 2030, down from 83% in the last two decades, while renewables, such as solar, wind, geothermal and biofuels, will deliver 18% of the growth by 2030, compared with 5% between 1990 and 2010.
BP group chief executive Bob Dudley described the analysis as a personal wake-up call, and called for “smart, market-oriented policies to deliver the energy we need in a manageable way – without inhibiting economic development or jeopardising the improvements in living standards now being experienced by billions of people worldwide”.
By. Charlotte Dudley
Source: Environmental Finance