• 4 minutes Is The Three Gorges Dam on the Brink of Collapse?
  • 8 minutes The Coal Industry May Never Recover From The Pandemic
  • 11 minutes China Raids Bank and Investor Accounts
  • 1 min Biden admits he has been tested for Cognitive Decline several times. Didn't show any proof of test results.
  • 1 hour Putin Forever: Russians Given Money As Vote That Could Extend Putin's Rule Draws To A Close
  • 3 hours During March, April, May the states with the highest infections/deaths were NY, NJ, Ma. . . . . Today (June) the three have the best numbers. How ? Herd immunity ?
  • 18 hours Apology Accepted!
  • 8 mins Tesla Model 3 police cars pay for themselves faster than expected, says police chief
  • 5 mins Putin Paid Militants to Kill US Troops
  • 20 hours U.S. natural gas at major disadvantage in Europe and China.
  • 4 hours Why Oil could hit $100
  • 6 hours The Political Genius of Donald Trump
  • 21 hours Biden came out of his basement today (Thursday) and said , "we have 120 Million deaths from Covid 19.
  • 1 day CoVid in Spain, 9 months before China
  • 1 day Per most popular Indian websites it was Indian troops not Chinese troops breach of LAC that caused the clashes. If you know any Indian media that claim to the contrary please provide the link
  • 1 day The world is headed for big problems - interview with very smart economist
Robert Rapier

Robert Rapier

More Info

Premium Content

BP Chief Pushes Renewable Investment Boost

Last week the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019 was released, covering energy data through 2018. The Review provides a comprehensive picture of supply and demand for major energy sources on a country-level basis. I consider it to be the bible of energy data. It is a primary source of data for numerous companies, government agencies and non-government organizations.

Since its release, I have been busy analyzing the data and creating graphics. I strive to uncover nuggets of information and analyze the data in unique ways. In upcoming articles I will detail which countries are biggest producers and consumers of various types of energy, but today I want to cover the Review’s data on carbon emissions.

The subtitle for this year’s Review was “an unsustainable path.” In introducing this year’s Review, Spencer Dale, BP chief economist, explained the subtitle:

There is a growing mismatch between societal demands for action on climate change and the actual pace of progress, with energy demand and carbon emissions growing at their fastest rate for years. The world is on an unsustainable path.”

Dale’s comments echoed BP CEO Bob Dudley’s introduction to the 2019 Review. After noting that global energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions had grown at the fastest rate in nearly a decade, Dudley warned:

BP’s economics team estimate that much of the rise in energy growth last year can be traced back to weather-related effects, as families and businesses increased their demand for cooling and heating in response to an unusually large number of hot and cold days. The acceleration in carbon emissions was the direct result of this increased energy consumption.

Related: Norway Just Triggered An Offshore Wind Energy Boom

Even if these weather effects are short-lived, such that the growth in energy demand and carbon emissions slow over the next few years, there seems little doubt that the current pace of progress is inconsistent with the Paris climate goals. The world is on an unsustainable path: the longer carbon emissions continue to rise, the harder and more costly will be the eventual adjustment to net-zero carbon emissions. Yet another year of growing carbon emissions underscores the urgency for the world to change.”

To put matters in perspective, over the past decade global energy consumption has grown at an average rate of 1.5 percent. In 2018, the rate was nearly double that at 2.9 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions have grown at an average rate of 1.0 percent; in 2018 they rose 2.0 percent.

Emissions were driven by increases in consumption of all the major fossil fuels. Coal consumption increased for the second year in a row in 2018, following three years of decline. Global oil consumption increased by 1.5 percent to a new all-time high. And natural gas consumption was up over 5 percent, one of the strongest rates of growth for over 30 years.

Thus, even though renewables grew by 14.5 percent — near the record-breaking pace of 2017 — they only accounted for 26 percent of the total global increase in global energy consumption. To put it another way, modern renewable energy consumption (mainly wind and solar power) grew by 71 million metric tons of oil equivalent in 2018. But fossil fuel consumption grew by nearly four times that amount, hence the increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

China continues to lead the world in global carbon dioxide emissions, which grew there to another record in 2018. U.S. emissions, which had been on a downtrend over the past decade, saw its emissions rise by 2.6 percent in 2018.

Emissions in the U.S. and EU have been on a general downtrend in recent years, but those in Asia Pacific continue to drive the rise in global emissions:

Global growth in carbon dioxide emissions over the past 30 years has been primarily driven by the Asia Pacific region. This is primarily a function of rising coal consumption in the region. In 1985, Asia Pacific’s emissions were lower than those of the U.S. or EU. In 2018, they were nearly double the combined emissions of the U.S. and EU. Related: New York On The Verge Of Passing Very Aggressive Clean Energy Bill

It is true that the U.S. has put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country, although it will eventually be passed by China. It’s also worth noting that per capita emissions in the U.S. are significantly higher than China’s.

In 2018, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions were 15.3 metric tons per person. (Incidentally, this wasn’t highest in the world; most Middle Eastern countries were ahead of this). In China, they were 6.8 metric tons per person. So China has just under half the per capita emissions, but more than four times the U.S. population.

Although China’s coal consumption has been relatively stable for the past four years, the country still consumes just over 50 percent of the world’s coal. Given that coal consumption has the highest associated carbon dioxide emissions among the fossil fuels, the single biggest action the world could take to reduce emissions would be to displace China’s coal-fired power by cleaner power sources. Of course other actions should be taken, but there is no denying that this represents an enormous source of global carbon dioxide emissions.

By Robert Rapier

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:


Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage





Leave a comment
  • Lee James on September 29 2019 said:
    Thank you for this discussion about BP's annual report about energy supply and demand for world countries and regions. We do need good perspective on what the statistics mean. I know a lot of folks in the U.S. like to compare our usage to China. It's tricky because of per capita usage and total population differences.

    "So China has just under half the per capita emissions, but more than four times the U.S. population."

    Good to see an oil company like BP acknowledge that we've all got a long way to go in reducing emissions fast enough.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News