Global coal consumption falls in 2016

The recent BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 had a surprising statement to make

Last year, coal made up only 28% of the world's energy production, its lowest level since 2004. As a result of these new statistics, representatives of BP, a global energy company that seeks to fuel and analyze patterns when it comes to petroleum, coal, and alternative electricity consumption, stated that the findings "marked shift toward lower-carbon fuels as renewable energy continues to grow strongly”.

The United States’ coal usage declined 19% and the Chinese production has also been declining for the past three years falling to almost 8%.

China’s decreasing reliance on fuel, a large population, and its enormous investment in renewables are causing it to be seen as a global leader on climate change now that the United States withdrew from the Paris Agreement earlier on this year.

According to BP, the 1.7% fall in worldwide consumption in 2016 marked an uncertain future for coal which was the largest source of energy until four years ago.

Also, the report indicates that CO2 emissions from energy consumption increased by only 0.1% in 2016. During 2014-2016, the average emissions growth saw the lowest results over any three-year period since 1981-1983.

"The carbon emissions were essentially flat in 2016. This is the third consecutive year in which we have seen little to no growth in carbon emissions, in sharp contrast to the 10 years before that, in which emissions grew by almost 2.5% per year”, the report underlined.

BP ensures that renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, were the fastest-growing energy sources in 2016, increasing its output by 12%.
This shift largely reflects structural factors: the increasing availability and competitiveness of natural gas and renewables, combined with government and social pressure to shift towards cleaner, lower carbon fuels.

LatinAmerican Post |Luisa Fernanda Báez Toro
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto