BP's 2035 outlook: CO2 emissions to rise by a third as energy consumption soars

Global carbon emissions are set to rise by 29% by 2035 as a result of a 41% increase in energy consumption, according to BP's Energy Outlook report.

The annual report predicts that although the rate of growth of emissions declines over the period, emissions are nearly double the 1990 level.

This growth in emissions is solely attributed to a consistent rise in energy consumption in the emerging economies. Although established economies fall back to 1990 levels by 2035, emissions are more than triple the 1990 level in these emerging economies.

The report states: "There is a clear long-run shift in energy growth from the OECD to the non-OECD. Virtually all (95%) of the projected growth is in the non-OECD, with energy consumption growing at 2.3% annually 2012-35.

"OECD energy consumption, by contrast, grows at just 0.2% per annum over the whole period and is actually falling from 2030 onwards," it continues.

Out of these emerging economies, the report highlights China as the key growth contributor. However, by the end of the forecast "China's contribution is starting to fade" and India's contribution grows, almost matching that of China in the final decade of the forecast.

According to the outlook, the rise in natural gas use, which has approximately half the carbon emissions per kilowatt hour than coal, does not see the same uptake in China and India because coal remains the cheaper option.

This reliance on coal in the major emerging economies, along with a steady decline in oil, sees oil's position as the leading fuel briefly challenged by coal, while gas gains a share steadily.

The outlook also predicts that by 2035 all fossil fuels make up 27% of the energy mix, and for the first time since the Industrial Revolution there is no single dominant fuel.

Together, fossil fuels lose share but remain the dominant form of energy in 2035, making up 81% of the mix, compared to 86% in 2012.

It also predicts that carbon-free sources (renewables, hydro and nuclear) increase their combined share of power generation from 32% in 2012 to 37% by 2035.

This increase sees renewables overtake nuclear as a source of power generation in 2028, increasing their share of power generation from 5% today to 13% in 2035.

BP's group chief economist Christof Rühl said: "We see continued strong growth in renewables globally, almost 7% per annum. But even with that strong growth renewables will only account for about 7% of the global energy mix by 2035".

Despite this, the report claims that renewables "show little sign of approaching any limit to their market share".

Leigh Stringer


CO2 | coal | fossil fuels | Natural gas | nuclear | renewables


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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