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Drought-driven shortfall in hydropower generation partly to blame for record-high global CO2 emissions in 2023, IEA says

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Earth.Org or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Global carbon dioxide emissions hit a record 37.4 billion tonnes in 2023, marking a 1.1% increase from the previous year, with emissions from coal constituting over 65% of this surge

🔭 The context: This increase in emissions is notably led by China, where per capita emissions are now 15% higher than in other advanced economies
• The country also set a record for coal-fired plant approvals in 2022, against a backdrop of extreme weather events driving up electricity demand for cooling

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The relentless use of fossil fuels, coupled with natural phenomena like El Niño, have been key contributors to making 2023 the hottest year on record, with temperatures 1.47°C above pre-industrial levels
• Despite this, the growth in renewable energy, particularly in China, signals a potential pivot towards more sustainable energy sources globally

⏭️ What's next: With the global energy sector at a critical juncture, the continued expansion of renewable energy, driven by policy initiatives and technological advancements, could significantly impact emissions trajectories and global climate targets

💬 One quote: "Despite the large share that fossil fuels still occupy in the global energy mix, renewable energy has also continued to grow last year," highlighting the dual narrative of dependence on fossil fuels and the growth of renewables.

📈 One stat: Renewable energy capacity globally grew by 50% in 2023 compared to 2022, with China leading these additions.

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