This article from the Washington Post –
“In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018” – summarises the findings of a new International Energy Agency report that is bad news about curbing global warming. The article starts:
Global energy experts released grim findings Monday, saying that not only are planet-warming carbon-dioxide emissions still increasing, but the world’s growing thirst for energy has led to higher emissions from coal-fired power plants than ever before.
Energy demand around the world grew by 2.3 percent over the past year, marking the most rapid increase in a decade, according to the report from the International Energy Agency. To meet that demand, largely fueled by a booming economy, countries turned to an array of sources, including renewables.
2.3% annual growth in demand for energy reflects population and economic growth and, if continued, would mean that humans will be using double this amount in only 30 years’ time. Significant increases in the burning of coal (1.7%) were measured in 2018 mainly from coal-burning power stations in the Far East:
In particular, a fleet of relatively young coal plants located in Asia, with decades to go on their lifetimes, led the way toward a record for emissions from coal fired power plants — exceeding 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide “for the first time,” the agency said. In Asia, “average plants are only 12 years old, decades younger than their average economic lifetime of around 40 years,” the agency found.
As this seminal 2017 presentation by Rockstrom (essential viewing) on the need to cut CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 demonstrates, the Paris Agreement has little hope of being implemented, as emissions accelerate upwards instead of downwards. Ever-increasing expansion of the impact of its passengers on Spaceship Earth continues unabated.
BBC coverage of WMO report on accelerating CO2 impact of humans.