Global CO2 emissions grew by less than a percent this year thanks to renewables

Despite all the problems humanity is facing in our time, there may be good news to celebrate regarding the global effort to build a clean energy economy. The introduction of modern energy technology is really starting to show effects, as more countries are turning to renewables to power thier energy needs. Global carbon emissions rose in 2021, bouncing back up an estimated six percent following months of slowed emission during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The latest data analyzed by IEA experts indicates global CO2 emissions are on course to increase by nearly 300 million tons in 2022 compared to last year’s levels, putting the total amount around 33.8 billion tons.

The key to this heartening alteration is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the rapid rise in renewable energy sources.

The IEA notes that, were it not for “Major deployments” of renewable energy tech alongside increased demand for electric vehicles, we would have likely seen almost triple that number.

“Even though the energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has propped up global coal demand in 2022 by making natural gas far more expensive, the relatively small increase in coal emissions has been considerably outweighed by the expansion of renewables,” notes the IEA in its summary.

The report notes that solar and wind systems led the rise in renewable energy generation in 2022, producing over 700 terawatt-hours(TWh)-the largest annual rise ever measured-accounting for two-thirds of all renewable power.

“Despite the challenging situation that hydropower has faced in several regions due to droughts this year, global hydropower output is up year-on-year, contributing over one-fifth of the expected growth in renewable power.”