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Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Decline

Greenhouse Gas
Credit: Bill Dickinson CC BY NC-ND 2.0 / Flickr

Global greenhouse gas emissions seem to be on the decline this year in a surprising twist of statistics. On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency (IEA), based in Paris noted that if not for major deployments of renewable energy technologies and electric vehicles, the world would have witnessed a triple in CO2 emissions compared to 2021.

If predictions prove correct, the Energy Agency estimated that global CO2 emissions are on pace to reach 33.8 billion tons this year with an increase of about 300 million tons, a shift considerably lower than the 2-billion-ton increase from 2020 levels.

Electric vehicles attributed to shift

Electronic Vehicles Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission
Credit: Birmingham City Council CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 / Flickr

According to statistics, consumers bought up close to 7 million electric vehicles in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022 alone, they reached 2 million. Those numbers account for a 75% increase year-over-year. This, by consequence had a major impact on the global emission of greenhouse gases.

The International Energy Agency attributed the surprising shift in global Greenhouse Gas Emissions to record sales of electronic cars which reduced gas emissions from gasoline vehicles.

Under U.S President Joe Biden0s Inflation Reduction Act,  consumers received iextra support for the purchase of electric vehicles. Unsurprisingly, the consumption of gasoline in America is now trending lower. This result can be directly attributed to efficiency improvements for conventional vehicles from the Energy Department.

Nevertheless, the IEA said renewables like solar and wind power might hit record capacity this year. Furthermore, the argued that short of those gains, global CO2 emissions would be 600 million tons higher than 2021 levels.

Russian-Ukraine invasion cause of decline in gas emissions?

Being a major supplier of crude oil and natural gas, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which led to the global energy crisis caused major economies to keep looking for fossil fuels with its major suppliers and importers desperately searching for another alternative.

The encouraging news is that some of the Russian voids are getting filled by wind and solar energy, stated the executive director of the IEA, Fatih Birol.

“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,” he said.

According to the IEA however, oil demand is on pace to accelerate more than any other fossil fuel this year. That type of acceleration will, by its very nature, contribute a further 180 million tons to global CO2 emissions. Perhaps because the momentum for clean energy technology seems to have lost ground during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. This, despite the fact that places like Greece documented a significant drop in carbon emissions during that time.  An unfortunate turn of events for those advocating steps to halt climate change.  Yet there are some believe it is on a verge of returning.

Such, at least, is the hope of companies banking on consumers going green. In particular, given the current global increase in the price of gas.

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