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2023 Peak CO2 emissions in the energy sector

2023 Peak CO2 emissions in the energy sector

Global carbon dioxide emissions in the energy sector rose 1.1 percent last year, reaching a new record high. The reason for this is, among other things, the decline in hydropower production due to numerous droughts and Chinese economic growth.

This is what was stated in the International Energy Agency’s report today. Over the course of the year, the energy sector emitted 37.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide – about 90 percent of total emissions.

The annual increase was 410 million tons, and was at least less strong than in the previous year. In 2022, 490 million tons of carbon dioxide were emitted more than in 2021.

Energy sources harmful to the climate due to drought

Weather-related problems with hydropower alone caused emissions to increase by 170 million tons. This is because countries with large hydropower capabilities such as China, Canada and Mexico have had to switch to alternative, more climate-damaging energy sources such as diesel and coal due to drought.

China alone also released 565 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2023. The increase here was sharp because the country's economy recovered from the coronavirus pandemic later than most other economies. In addition, China continues to consume a lot of coal. But in many industrialized countries, emissions have fallen despite increased economic output.

Climate researchers calculate that carbon dioxide emissions will have to fall sharply in the coming years in order to prevent catastrophic levels of global warming. Emissions should peak by 2025 at the latest, and should decline after that.

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