The Strategist

BP: Global warming rates doubled

06/12/2019 - 15:18

Industrial emissions of carbon dioxide in the world have increased by 2% in a year. This is the maximum rate over the past 7 years, which can be explained by a record demand for electricity in the world, according to BP’s annual review of world energy. If the situation does not change, the pace of global warming will double.

Primary energy consumption grew at a rate of 2.9% last year, almost twice the ten year average, equal to 1.5% per year. This is the fastest growth rate since 2010. Burning of natural gas covered a 40% increase in demand for global energy. Consumption of other types of fuel for energy generation grew faster than average rates for 10 years. Share of renewable energy sources in global energy production was more modest.

China, the United States and India together accounted for more than two thirds of global energy demand growth, with US energy consumption growing at the fastest pace in the last 30 years.


In 2018, consumption of oil in the world grew by 1.4 mln bpd above the average level, or 1.5%. China (680 thousand barrels per day) and the USA (500 thousand barrels per day) were the largest participants in the growth of demand for oil. Production of oil in the world rose by 2.2 million barrels per day. Almost all of the net increase was provided by the United States, and the growth of oil production in the US was a record for any country.


Natural gas consumption increased by 195 billion cubic meters, or 5.3%. This is one of the highest growth rates since 1984. Gas consumption growth was mainly provided by the United States (78 billion cubic meters), with the support of China (43 billion cubic meters), Russia (23 billion cubic meters) and Iran (16 billion cubic meters).


Coal consumption in 2018 increased by 1.4%, twice the average figure for 10 years. The leaders in coal consumption are India (36 million tonnes) and China (16 million tonnes). Coal demand in the OECD fell to its lowest level since 1975. Share of coal in the production of primary energy fell to 27.2%, and this the lowest level in the last 15 years. Nevertheless, in 2018, global coal production increased by 162 million tonnes, or 4.3%. China (82 million tonnes) and Indonesia (51 million tonnes) provided the largest increase in coal production. Coal consumption and mining are growing at the fastest pace in five years due to the need of developing countries to connect millions of homes to a cheap source of electricity.

Renewable energy

Renewable energy consumption jumped 15% in 2018, which is close to record growth from a year earlier. China leads the way in renewable energy generation, producing more than the most developed countries in the OECD combined. Growth in wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and waste incineration was about a third of the increase in total electricity generation, or as much as from burning coal.

However, they do not cover global needs. "Renewable energy sources cannot grow fast enough," said BP chief economist Spencer Dale. Primary energy demand in 2018 grew at the fastest pace in this decade, even though global economic growth was weakening. China, India and the United States account for two thirds of the 2.9% increase in energy consumption.

All over the world there is an urgent need to curb the global temperature increase. Since the industrial revolution began, it has risen by 1 degree Celsius, and  it should at least double by the century's end, says a BP report.