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CO₂ emissions

Carbon emissions grew by 2.0%, the fastest growth for seven years. In 2018, the growth in carbon emissions was a direct consequence of the increase in energy demand
“Carbon emissions from energy use are estimated to have grown by around 2% last year. That’s roughly the equivalent to carbon emissions associated with increasing the number of passenger cars on the planet by a third. This number is material. This increase stems pretty much directly from the growth in energy demand.”

Spencer Dale, group chief economist

Relative to the average of the previous five years, growth in energy demand was 1.5 percentage points higher in 2018 and the growth in carbon emissions was 1.4 percentage points higher.

The increase in demand was fuelled mostly by fossil sources, accounting for almost three-quarters of the growth in energy demand in 2018 – its highest share for five years.


But much of this growth was in natural gas, gaining share relative to coal and oil, such that the improvement in the carbon intensity of the fuel mix last year was similar to its recent average.