The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that global CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached 31.6 gigatonnes in 2011, according to its preliminary estimates. This is up 3.2% over 2010. The breakdwon for energy-related CO2 emissions by fuel-type is
- coal 45%
- oil 35%
- natural gas 20%.
In 2011, CO2 emissions continued to rise for non-OECD countries, though the total for OECD countries actually decreased
- Non-OECD 6.1% increase
- OECD 0.6% reduction.
The largest emitters are, in order, China, the United States, the European Union, and India.
China is responsible for the largest contribution to the global increase, up 9.3%, primarily as the result of increased coal combustion. But China has dramatically improved its energy intensity, reducing the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of GDP by 15% between 2005 and 2011.
CO2 emissions in the United States dropped 1.7%. The IEA ascribed the decease primarily to switching from coal to natural gas in power generation as well as a warm winter. US emissions have fallen by 430 Mt (7.7%) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions. The IEA says this is the result of
- lower oil use in the transport sector (linked to efficiency improvements, higher oil prices and the economic downturn which has cut vehicle miles travelled)
- substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector.
CO2 emissions in the EU in 2011 were down by 1.9%, as the EU continues toward its 20-20-20 goals by 2020.
India’s emissions rose by 8.7% and it now is ahead of Russia in emissions.
The IEA reported that Japan’s 2011 emissions increased by 2.4%, which is not unexpected as for most of the time it had few nuclear reactors running, and now has none operating.