Latest IEA stats confirm 2008-9 dip in global CO2 emissions

But it was business as usual last year
November 03, 2011
JRC global CO2 emissions by region to 2010

Due to the 2008-2009 economic crisis global carbon dioxide emissions decreased 1.5 percent for the first time since 1990, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). It cautions that it expects to record a large rebound in 2010, once it has finished its analysis of last year.

According to CO₂Emissions from Fuel Combustion 2011 emissions from developing economies (non-Annex I countries according UNFCCC parlance) grew 3.3 percent in 2009 and continued to increase in 2010. In emissions from developed (Annex 1) countries fell 6.5 percent but the 2010 rebound is likely to put them back at a similar level to 2008.

Statistics for 2009 show that emission levels for the group of countries participating in the Kyoto Protocol were 14.7 percent below their 1990 level.

According to a report from the European Joint Research Centre, published in September, global carbon dioxide emissions increased 5.8 percent between 2009 and 2010.

The key findings in the new IEA report include:

  • Two-thirds of global emissions for 2009 originated from just ten countries, with the shares of China and the United States far surpassing those of all others. Combined, these two countries alone produced 41 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions;

  • Between 1990 and 2009, emissions from the combustion of coal grew from 40 to 43 percent and natural gas from 18 to 20 percent, while CO2 emissions from oil fell from 42 to 37 percent;

  • Two sectors – electricity and heat generation and transport – produced nearly two-thirds of global emissions in 2009, up from 58 percent in 1990.

In the lead-up to the UN climate negotiations in Durban, the latest information on the level and growth of emissions, their source and geographic distribution will be essential to informing discussion leading toward a new global agreement.