Nov 25, 2019

Coal is projected to see a record decline in 2019

Reproduced from Carbon Brief; Chart: Axios Visuals

Global coal-fired electricity production is projected to drop 3% this year, the largest decline on record, concludes an analysis from three think tanks published by the website Carbon Brief.

Why it matters: Reining in carbon emissions from coal-fired generation is a pillar of every major pathway for limiting temperature rise.

  • The 3% rise in CO2 from coal generation in 2018 accounted for half of that year's increase in emissions from all fossil fuels, the study notes.

The big picture, per the report: "The record drop also raises the prospect of slowing global CO2 emissions growth in 2019."

  • "Nevertheless, global coal use and emissions remain far higher than the level required to meet the goals of the Paris agreement."
  • This year's decline follows "decades of near-uninterrupted growth."

What they found: Increases in non-fossil power sources, coal-plant retirements, CO2 pricing, and the slowing global economy all contributed to the decline.

Between the lines: The report explores regional developments that led to the overall drop, including...

  • Power demand growth in China, the world's largest coal-user, slowed this year and non-fossil sources met nearly all the increase.
  • Demand growth has also slowed in India, the world's second-largest coal consumer, while generation from non-coal sources has grown.
  • In the U.S., where coal-fired generation has been falling for years, 2019 will be one of the largest annual declines.

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Asia is coal's epicenter

Reproduced from IEA; Chart: Axios Visuals

The International Energy Agency is out with a preview of next week's report on the state of coal and the future of the resource over the next five years.

What they found: One conclusion is that Asia will largely dictate the future of how quickly the world does — or doesn't — begin moving away from the most carbon-emitting fuel.

Go deeperArrowDec 13, 2019

A half-empty glass on emissions

Data: Global Carbon Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

A major new report on global carbon dioxide emissions growth is largely bad news, but if you squint you can find some (rather small) bright spots.

Driving the news: The rate of increase decelerated this year as coal consumption dipped and economic growth slowed, but emissions still hit a record high, per new data from a research consortium called the Global Carbon Project.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019

Global carbon emissions rise again — but more slowly

A chimney of a brick factory emits smoke during sunset in Jalandhar, India, 2018. Photo: Shammi Mehra/AFP via Getty Images

The growth of global carbon dioxide emissions slowed this year as coal consumption dipped, per new data from a research consortium called the Global Carbon Project.

Why it matters: It underscores how the emissions trajectory is nowhere close to the steep cuts scientists say are needed in the years and decades ahead to meet the goals of the Paris climate deal.

Go deeperArrowDec 4, 2019