Global energy CO2 emissions hit all-time high — report

By Jack Quinn | 03/01/2024 06:46 AM EST

The International Energy Agency said the emissions growth was lower in 2023 than the previous year, however.

A group of Tesla cars line up at charging stations in Littleton, Colo.

An International Energy Agency report finds that electric vehicles, renewables and other low-carbon energy sources are limiting emissions from the energy sector. David Zalubowski/AP

Global carbon emissions from the energy sector reached an all-time high in 2023 but rose less than the prior year because of ongoing growth in renewables and electric vehicles, according to a report Friday from the International Energy Agency.

The IEA report found that global emissions grew 1.1 percent in 2023, setting an annual carbon output record of 37.4 billion tons overall.

Forty percent of the growth last year, though, was attributable to increased use of fossil fuels because of drought-induced reductions in hydroelectric power. If hydropower output had been closer to its historical average, global energy-related carbon emissions would have actually declined in 2023, according to the report.

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“The clean energy transition is continuing apace and reining in emissions — even with global energy demand growing more strongly in 2023 than in 2022,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a press release Friday.

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