IEA updates carbon emissions data ahead of climate change negotiations, revealing recent trends

4 November 2015

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions totalled 32.2 gigatonnes in 2013, with all of the 0.7 gigatonne increase coming from emerging economies.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) published detailed analysis of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fuel combustion today, less than four weeks before the start of the COP21 United Nations negotiations on climate change in Paris.

The new data show that CO2 emissions related to the energy sector, which is the source of nearly two-thirds of human-generated greenhouse gases, rose 2.2% in 2013 to total 32.2 gigatonnes, compared with the 0.6% increase in 2012. Both years were below the average growth rate since 2000 of 2.5%. In absolute terms, global CO2 emissions increased by 0.7 gigatonne in 2013.

Preliminary assessment for the World Energy Outlook Special Report on Energy and Climate published in June estimated that global energy-related CO2 emissions were flat in 2014.

The new IEA analysis of the official 2013 data shows that emerging economies’ emissions grew 4%, largely because of increased coal consumption, while there was no change in emissions by more developed countries that include most IEA members. Two-thirds of global emissions came from just ten countries, divided equally between emerging and more developed economies, with China and the United States alone accounting for 14.1 gigatonnes of CO2.

On a per-capita basis, however, China’s emissions were just over two-fifths of those of the United States, though the countries are moving in opposite directions, as the new IEA data find that US per-capita emissions fell 16% from 1990 while China’s tripled as its gross domestic product per capita surged.

To read the latest IEA analysis of global CO2 emissions from fuel consumption, please click here.

To read the IEA excerpt Key Trends in CO2 Emissions, please click here.

Further information on CO2 emissions statistics is available here.