Global Carbon Emissions Decrease by 2%…..as electricity production moves away from Coal

As overall electricity generation from coal fell 3% in 2019 due to some countries experiencing milder winters and some are making the move away from coal-fired power plants,- the result is positive – carbon dioxide emissions from the global electricity system fell by 2%.

The latest report on the world’s electricity generation has shown the biggest drop in carbon emissions from the globe’s electricity system in almost 30 years as the United States and Europe turned to cleaner energy sources.

The global decline of coal and power sector emissions is god news for the climate, but governments have to dramatically accelerate the electricity transition so that global coal generation collapses throughout the 2020’s. To switch from coal into gas is just swapping fossil fuel for another. The cheapest and quickest way to end coal generation is through a rapid roll-out of wind and solar.

Dave Jones, Electricity Analyst for EMBER and leading author of the report.

Coal generation in the US and Europe has halved since 2007, and last year collapsed by almost a quarter in the EU and by 16% in the US.The report – ‘Global Electricity Review’ is from EMBER, formerly known as ‘Sandbag’.  Ember is an independent climate think-tank focused on accelerating the global electricity transition from coal to  clean. They gather, curate and analyse data with a focus on the power sector to support high impact, politically viable policies that accelerate the coal phase-out.

The report has warned and noted that there were many one-off factors that contributed to the dent in the world’s coal-fired electricity generation, including milder winters  across many countries.

Dave Jones, Electricity Analyst for EMBER and leading author of the report said, “The global decline of coal and power sector emissions is good news for the climate but governments have to dramatically accelerate the electricity transition so that global coal generation collapses throughout the 2020s. 

To switch from coal into gas is just swapping one fossil fuel for another. The cheapest and quickest way to end coal generation is through a rapid roll-out of wind and solar.

But without concerted policy-maker efforts to boost wind and solar, we will fail to meet climate targets. China’s growth in coal, and to some extent gas, is alarming but the answers are all there. The EU leaps out with 18% of electricity now coming from wind and solar, but with the US on 11%, China at 9% and India at 8% – the race is on.”

To meet the Paris climate goals, the world needs to record a compound growth rate of 15% for wind and solar generation every year, which will require “a colossal effort”, the report warned.