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Emissions in advanced economies hit all-time low

Economy Materials 4 March 2024 12:52 (UTC +04:00)
Emissions in advanced economies hit all-time low
Maryana Ahmadova
Maryana Ahmadova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 4. In 2023, emissions in advanced economies dropped by about 4.5 percent, reaching levels lower than those in 1973, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said, Trend reports.

According to the agency, this is noteworthy because, even though emissions in these countries hit similar lows in 2020, 1974-75, and 1982-83, there are two key differences. First, unlike the temporary declines in the earlier years, emissions in advanced economies have been consistently dropping since 2007. Second, despite the decline, the GDP of advanced economies grew by about 1.7 percent in 2023, which is a positive change compared to periods of stagnation or recession in the past. The decrease in emissions in 2023 is the largest percentage drop outside of a recessionary period.

In 2023, almost two-thirds of the reduction in emissions from advanced economies happened in the electricity sector. Moreover, electricity generated from renewables and nuclear sources made up 50 percent of the total generation in advanced economies, and renewables alone hit an all-time high of 34 percent. At the same time, the share of coal dropped to a historic low of 17 percent.

As the IEA noted, the changes in the electricity sector have brought advanced economy coal demand to a level not seen since around 1900, except for a brief period during the Great Depression. Since reaching its highest point in 2007, coal demand has almost halved. This drop is mainly because renewables have more than doubled their share in electricity generation, going from 16 percent to 34 percent. Also, there's been a notable shift from coal to natural gas, with the share of natural gas in electricity generation going up from 22 percent to 31 percent.

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