Despite renewables, global CO2 emissions to grow 4% in 2021: S&P

CO2 emissions to rise in 2021

Despite the renewable energy growth and the net-zero carbon emissions goals that have spread among countries and governments, global CO2 emissions will likely grow 1,4 gigatons; about 4,4% in a year-on-year comparison in 2021, S&P Global Platts estimates.

Among the factors of the emissions’ rise are the global economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic, the gradual shift from coal to gas, and lower fossil fuels prices; while renewables will grow thanks to a host-of-grid parity solar projects in China, and a peak of installations added in India.

According to S&P’s report, renewables will weigh on fossil fuels, as nuclear becomes a feasible clean energy option and generation projects spread all over the world. The renewable push in the electricity sector will also be a factor. As we’ve reported previously, especially for coal-fired power plants.  

Other factor in favor of renewables, is the up-coming Biden administration. It has plead to heavily invest in green energy developments, and to implement a paradigm shift energy-wise, and drive U.S.’s energy sector to energy transition.

Nevertheless, the lack of control in the Senate still has all those campaign promises at stake; it is unclear how much control the administration will have when implementing and ruling new policies that shift away from coal, fossil fuels, or even so, shale gas.

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U.S returns to Paris Climate accord, but has small impact on emissions

Despite this great focus for innovation, energy transition and zero emissions goals, S&P estimated a grow in world’s CO2 emissions in 2021; as coal may increase its demand when the economy recovers. Nevertheless, “coal producers coal producers will find it challenging to adequately ramp up supply,” the report underlines.

The return to the Paris Climate Change Accord of 2016, from which the U.S. recently withdrew, is expected to give further boost to energy transition in the United States.

Despite its withdrawal in 2017, 25 states formed an alliance to ensure cleaner policies and practices; and pledged net zero emissions goals for 2025, and 2050 Nevertheless, many of these states are very far from reaching substantial changes for the mid-term goal of 2025.

Few US states with climate commitments are on track to meet the 2025 target; or an emission reduction trajectory consistent with the United Nations; that averaged a pathway of a 1,5°C reduction for 2030,” the Environmental Defense Fund said in a report, quoted by S&P.

According to S&P, about 238GW of clean power will be needed in order for the U.S to meet the Paris Climate Accord targets. The U.S. is one of the biggest CO2 emitting countries in the world.

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