IEA: 2022, a better year for the environment thanks to electric cars and renewables

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from burning fossil fuels, which are extremely harmful to the environment, will be less than 1% higher this year, thanks to the growing popularity of electric cars and investment in renewable energy sources. These are the results of an analysis by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Last year, as economies recovered from the pandemic, CO2 emissions rose alarmingly. But the war in Ukraine has accelerated the transition to clean ways of producing energy.

In 2022, carbon dioxide emissions will rise by 300 million tonnes from 2021, to 33.8 billion tonnes. In 2021, compared to 2020, the increase was 2 billion tonnes.

This year, the industries contributing most to the increase in polluting emissions are electricity generation and aviation. After the pandemic, people have started to travel medium and long distances again.

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If massive investments were not made in areas such as electric cars and green energy, the increase in CO2 emissions would have been nearly a billion tonnes higher in 2022, according to the IEA.

The aviation industry is responsible for about 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, according to Our World in Data.

“The global energy crisis, triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has prompted many countries to use other energy sources to replace the natural gas Russia has withheld from the market. The encouraging news is that solar and wind have filled a large part of the gap, with the increase in coal’s share appearing to be relatively small and temporary,” said Fatih Birol, executive director at the IEA.

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The data is released by the organisation a few weeks ahead of COP27, an environmental summit in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. There, representatives from 200 countries will discuss ways to reduce harmful emissions.

According to the UN, massive reductions are needed this decade to avoid a climate catastrophe, in which events such as floods in Pakistan or Hurricane Ian will be frequent

Photo: Profimedia Images

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