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Carbon Emissions from Energy Industry Soars to Record Level Highs as World Temperatures Fluctuate

BP Oil Rig

Carbon emissions from energy industry soar to record level highs as world temperatures fluctuate

The global energy sector’s greenhouse gas emissions increased at the quickest rate since 2011 following severe shifts in temperatures and weather conditions across the planet that triggered a spike in the demand and use of fossil fuels.

The multinational oil and gas company, BP (British Petroleum) published its yearly report on global energy, a leading evaluation of the energy market, and in an unprecedented move affirmed that sharp changes in temperatures throughout the world are directly influencing the growing demand and usage of nonrenewable fossil fuels, regardless of the concerns and precautions taken to combat climate change.

Global carbon emissions increase as climate change worsens

“The power sector needs to play a central role in any transition to a low carbon energy system: it is the single largest source of carbon emissions within the energy system; and it is where much of the lowest-hanging fruit lie for reducing carbon emissions over the next 20 years. The headline numbers are the rapid growth in energy demand and carbon emissions. Global primary energy grew by 2.9% in 2018 – the fastest growth seen since 2010. This occurred despite a backdrop of modest GDP growth and strengthening energy prices.”

“At the same time, carbon emissions from energy use grew by 2.0%, again the fastest expansion for many years, with emissions increasing by around 0.6 gigatons. That’s roughly equivalent to the carbon emissions associated with increasing the number of passenger cars on the planet by a third.”

“What drove these increases in 2018? And how worried should we be? Starting first with energy consumption. As I said, energy demand grew by 2.9% last year. This growth was largely driven by China, US and India which together accounted for around two-thirds of the growth. Relative to recent historical averages, the most striking growth was in the US, where energy consumption increased by a whopping 3.5%, the fastest growth seen for 30 years and in sharp contrast to the trend decline seen over the previous 10 years.” Said BP group chief economist, Spencer Dale.

Click here to read the full analytical report.

The extreme global temperature fluxes pushed fossil fuel consumption, specifically gas and coal, to record level highs. As the energy requirements overtook renewable energy outputs forcing an increased usage of fossil fuels to meet energy demands, carbon emissions rose by a 2 percent increment last year, the quickest rate of increase since 2011.

Dale suggested that there is a direct correlation between extreme weather changes and the consumption of energy:

‘Digging into the data further, it seems that much of the surprising strength in energy consumption in 2018 may be related to weather effects. In particular, there was an unusually large number of hot and cold days across many of the world’s major demand centres last year, particularly in the US, China and Russia, with the increased demand for cooling and heating services helping to explain the strong growth in energy consumption in each of these countries.’

Click here to read the full BP report.

With reports such as these warning about the climate change crisis and the imminent catastrophe that could ensue if immediate action is not taken to tackle the issue, environmental activists have ramped up their concerns over the issue. For instance, the pacifist Extinction Rebellion group caused delays and disruptions in areas of the UK’s capital and recently two activists from Greenpeace boarded BP’s North Sea oil rig near the Scottish coast in protest of BP’s ongoing fossil fuel drilling operations.

Disruption caused by Greenpeace activists that climbed onto BP’s North Sea oil rig off the coast of Scotland, protesting against the continued extraction of fossil fuels despite the climate change crisis faced by the world, has provoked an injunction to stop the activists from staying on the oil rig. Nevertheless, Greenpeace has pledged to maintain its protest against BP’s planned drilling operations that could result in the extraction of roughly 30 million barrels of crude oil.

“This injunction has been taken out in an attempt to stop our action. BP have spent billions lobbying governments to prevent action on climate change and now they want to try to silence peaceful protest.”

“But we’re in a climate emergency and they’re fueling that. We have to act. Companies like BP cannot continue to drill new oil wells – their actions threaten the lives of millions and the future of our living planet. We won’t be gagged by a corporate injunction trying to silence us – the future of our planet is at stake.” Said the executive director for Greenpeace UK, John Sauven.

Matthew Smith, YouGov’s lead data journalist, on June 5th found that climate change concerns were at record level highs in the UK. ‘Today is World Environment Day, and YouGov data reveals that the public is more concerned about the environment than ever before. A quarter (27%) of Britons now cite the environment in their top three issues facing the country, putting it behind only Brexit (67%) and health (32%). Among young Britons concern is higher still, with fully 45% of 18-24-year-olds saying environmental issues are one of the nation’s most pressing concerns, making it their second biggest concern behind Brexit (57%).’

To read the full YouGov report click here.

Industrial demand for energy from China, the United States and India was responsible for 67 percent of the steep increase in global carbon emissions. Extreme weather conditions bringing about severe cold and hot days in the US, Russia and China also contributed to the increase in fossil fuel consumption.

Chief Executive Officer for BP, Bob Dudley said: “The longer carbon emissions continue to rise, the harder and more costly will be the necessary eventual adjustment to net-zero carbon emissions. As I have said before, this is not a race to renewables, but a race to reduce carbon emissions across many fronts.”  

Working towards net-zero carbon emissions.

In the past, BP has supported movements by the energy industry that push for government authorities across the globe to help finance innovative technology that seizes the carbon emissions from industrial power plants before they are released into the atmosphere.

Various influencers in the art industry have put pressure on the National Portrait Gallery, in Charing Cross London, to cut all sponsorship agreements with BP as they claim the oil and gas company is worsening the climate change crisis by continuing with its extraction of non-renewable energy fuels.

In a letter to the director of the National Portrait Gallery, Nicholas Cullinan, English artist Gary Hume wrote: ‘I know how difficult fundraising is and how valuable an ongoing relationship with a major corporate sponsor can be. But in the case of BP, I feel that this is outweighed by the need to act urgently on the climate crisis we are now facing. Because this is such a high-profile sponsorship deal, I don’t think it’s possible to be neutral. Either we distance ourselves from one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel producers and embrace the challenge of decarbonising, or we continue to give legitimacy to BP and its business activities that are seriously exacerbating the problem.’

Click here to read the full letter.

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