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IEA reveals global CO2 emissions reach record high in 2023, but growth slows

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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 CarbonCredits or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that global carbon emissions reached a new high in 2023, with a growth of about 1.1% or approximately 410 million tons, reaching a total of 37.4 billion tonnes
• This growth, however, was moderated by the expansion of renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, and nuclear power

🔭 The context: Despite the record-high emissions, the deployment of clean energy technologies has prevented emissions from rising significantly more over the past five years
• Solar PV, wind power, nuclear power, electric vehicles, and heat pumps collectively avoided about 2.2 billion tons of emissions annually, which would have otherwise been more than triple without these technologies

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The report highlights the ongoing transition towards renewable energy in advanced economies, with over 50% of electricity generated from low emissions sources for the first time
• This signifies a decoupling of economic growth from carbon emissions, a crucial step toward achieving global decarbonization goals

⏭️ What's next: The IEA emphasizes the resilience of the clean energy transition amidst various challenges
• However, there is a significant investment gap in clean energy projects in developing countries, with a need for about $1.7 trillion annually compared to the current $544 billion received in 2022

💬 One quote: “The clean energy transition has undergone a series of stress tests in the last five years — and it has demonstrated its resilience… continuing apace and reining in emissions — even with global energy demand growing more strongly in 2023 than in 2022,” stated Fatih Birol, IEA's executive director.

📈 One stat: Coal has been the primary driver of the surge in global CO2 emissions, accounting for around 70% of the increase from energy combustion in 2023, contributing approximately 270 Mt to the overall emission increase.

Click for more news covering the latest on Environmental Sustainability

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