Global energy consumption trends ‘unsustainable’ - BP's CEO

Author: Tom Brown

2019/06/11

LONDON (ICIS)--The current trends in global energy demand growth and consumption are not sustainable, and continue to push away from carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction targets necessary to meet the Paris Accord commitments, the CEO at UK's energy major BP said on Tuesday.

US coal trainIn what Bob Dudley termed an “unwelcome development”, carbon emissions rose at the fastest rate in seven years at a time when they should be falling.

“2018 was just astonishing,” he said, speaking at the launch of BP’s annual world energy review in London.

“There have been some incredible developments, and not just for the better.”

Energy consumption rose at its fastest rate in a decade on the back of developing world growth driven by India and China, but also by the US, which posted its highest demand growth levels in 30 years.

The US’ shale sector also drove unprecedented increases in oil and gas output last year, with capacity increases in both energy classes the highest of any country since BP began its annual energy review 68 years ago, according to Dudley.

“Goes to show what an energy powerhouse the US has become,” he said.

COAL BOOMS
Bob DudleyLast year also recorded the second consecutive rise in coal demand growth, after three years of falls in what Dudley (pictured) termed “a worrying trend”.

Meanwhile, renewable energy output rose, but not at a rate that is likely to be sufficient to offset the growth in emissions from other sources.

The unexpectedly high demand and emissions growth and the rebound in coal consumption mean that governments are moving further from rather than closer to the kind of energy transition envisaged in the Paris Accord, Dudley added.

“The world is not on a sustainable path, if anything we are moving further away from it rather than getting closer,” he said, noting that the more carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to rise, the tougher the adjustments will be.

Pictured above: A train loaded with coal in the US
Pictures sources: imageBROKER/Shutterstock and BP