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Key figure: the energy sector emitted 33 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2019

After two years of rising, energy related greenhouse gas emissions stagnated in 2019, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA) published on Tuesday 11  February . About 33 billion tonnes of CO2 were emitted, as much as in 2018, despite global economic growth of 2.9%.

The IEA explains this stabilisation by “the development of renewable energies (mainly wind and solar), the transfer from coal to natural gas, and more nuclear energy production” in the developed economies, which offset the progression observed in Asia. The milder weather in several countries and the downturn in economic growth in several emerging markets, including India, also contribute to this stagnation.

However, this good news, which confirms efforts around the world to reduce CO2 emissions, has to last. As stated by Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director:

We now have to work hard to ensure that 2019 remains the definitive peak for CO2 emissions and not just a pause in their growth. 

Crédit photo: CNR / Camille Moirenc

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