World

Deep disparities define today’s energy world. The dissonance between well-supplied oil markets and growing geopolitical tensions and uncertainties. The gap between the ever-higher amounts of greenhouse gas emissions being produced and the insufficiency of stated policies to curb those emissions in line with international climate targets. The gap between the promise of energy for all and the lack of electricity access for hundreds of millions of people around the world.

World

Key energy statistics

Total primary energy supply, 2018

Global CO2 emissions declined by 5.8% in 2020, or almost 2 Gt CO2 – the largest ever decline and almost five times greater than the 2009 decline that followed the global financial crisis.

However in 2021 global energy-related CO2 emissions are projected to rebound and grow by 4.8% as demand for coal, oil and gas rebounds with the economy.

Global energy-related CO2 emissions, 1990-2021

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Global outlook

The economic downturn has temporarily suppressed emissions, but low economic growth is not a low-emissions strategy – it is a strategy that would only serve to further impoverish the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Only faster structural changes to the way we produce and consume energy can break the emissions trend for good. Governments have the capacity and the responsibility to take decisive actions to accelerate clean energy transitions and put the world on a path to reaching our climate goals, including net-zero emissions.

Global primary energy demand growth by scenario, 2019-2030

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Energy investment

In 2021, annual global energy investment is set to rise to USD 1.9 trillion, rebounding nearly 10% from 2020 and bringing the total volume of investment back towards pre-crisis levels.

The anticipated upswing in investments in 2021 is a mixture of a cyclical response to recovery and a structural shift in capital flows towards cleaner technologies. But despite an urgent need to shift to a more sustainable energy pathway, global CO2 emissions are again on the rise.

Global energy investment, 2017-2021

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