Global Climate: Slowing Energy Efficiency Raises Risk Of Faster Climate Change


The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently released its Global Energy & CO2 Status Report for 2017, indicating world energy demand grew by 2.1% to 14.05 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), compared with a 5-year average and 2016 growth of 0.9%. The growth in energy demand was boosted by the strong global economic growth in 2017.

Further analysis showed that above 70% of global energy demand growth was met by oil, natural gas, and coal, while renewables accounted for almost all of the rest. However, improvements in energy efficiency slowed down due to a drop in both policy coverage and stringency, as well as lower energy prices. In line with this, global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions increased by 1.4% in 2017, after 3 flat years, reaching a historic high of 32.5gigatonnes.

It is widely expected that global energy growth will continue to pick up in 2018 as global economic growth remains strong. Evidently, the current level of CO2 emissions put the global climate at risk of further climate change. However, in order to manage the risk, we believe there is the need for a renewed call for global energy efficiency as average energy price trends within profitable bound, relative to prior year.