Jun 12, 2019

The world goes the wrong way on carbon emissions

Data: BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2019; Chart: Axios Visuals

BP's latest global energy stats report shows that CO2 emissions from energy, which create the lion's share, grew at their fastest rate in 7 years in 2018 as energy demand surged.

Why it matters: The report yesterday joins other analyses in concluding that emissions are heading upward amid scientific findings showing the need to deeply cut them in coming decades to prevent runaway warming.

The big picture: China, the U.S. and India together accounted for roughly two-thirds of energy consumption growth last year, including a "whopping" 3.5% rise in the U.S., the fastest growth in 3 decades, notes the "Statistical Review of World Energy."

  • Overall, a nearly 3% rise in energy consumption was the fastest since 2010.
  • Natural gas saw the largest usage boost but all fuels saw increases.

Where it stands: BP chief economist Spencer Dale said in remarks yesterday that the surprising growth in energy use relative to underlying economic conditions stems from last year's large number of hot and cold days.

  • This led to greater use of heating and air conditioning, causing the "possibility of a worrying vicious cycle," in which "[i]ncreasing levels of carbon leading to more extreme weather patterns, which in turn trigger stronger growth in energy (and carbon emissions) as households and businesses seek to offset their effects," Dale said.

Threat level: He cautioned that there are "many people better qualified than I to make judgements on this," but added:

"[E]ven if these weather effects are short lived, such that the growth in energy demand and carbon emissions slow over the next few years, the recent trends still feel very distant from the types of transition paths consistent with meeting the Paris climate goals."

Go deeper: Earth's carbon dioxide has jumped to the highest level in human history

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George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

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Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

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Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."