Global zero CO2 plan and Iran

Oil&Gas Materials 13 May 2015 10:01 (UTC +04:00)
Amid warnings that levels of global greenhouse gases are rising The World Bank released a report aimed at eliminating net CO2 emissions by the year 2100
Global zero CO2 plan and Iran

By Dalga Khatinoglu

Amid warnings that levels of global greenhouse gases are rising The World Bank released a report aimed at eliminating net CO2 emissions by the year 2100.

Entitled the "Three Steps to a Zero-Carbon Future," The World Bank published the report on May 11.

According to the report, the net emissions is needed to reach zero by 2100 to stabilize climate change around the 2°C as the maximum acceptable amount of warming.

The report states that the cumulative emissions of 3,000 gigatons of CO2 (GtCO2 ) would lead to a temperature increase of between 1.0°C and 2.5°C.

In 2014, the total CO2 emission amount stalled at about 32 GT, unchanged from 2013, the International Energy Agency reported in mid-March.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) shares 57 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, while the share of power plants in CO2 emission is very high.

The World Banks report doesn't mention the details of each country's share in emission, but Iran has among high producing CO2 per capita among the countries.

According to WB statistics, Iran produced above 0.6 GtCO2 in 2012, about 15 percent more than 2008, while the global figure was 32.3 Gt in 2012.

Iran ranks 7th place in term of producing CO2 in the world.

A glance at greenhouse emission in Iran

Iran fortunately uses an insignificant amount of coal, which carries a large part of the blame for global emissions. However the primary energy consumption level and growth is very huge in Iran.

The share of coal combustion in global total CO2 emissions is almost 40 percent and the share of coal-fired power plants in CO2 emissions from fossil fuels is 28 percent. Iran uses less than 900,000 tons of coal annually.

However, Iran suffers from other CO2 pollution-related problems, especially due to low efficiency in power plants as well as old vehicles.

According to the official statistics some 222 million tons of the pollutants were produced as a result of using fossil fuel in power generation in 2013. This means that about 37 percent of CO2 emission in Iran was caused by power plants in the mentioned year.

Statistics released by Iran Energy Efficiency Organization for 2012:


CO2 emission (ton)

CO emission (ton)













Power plants









Comparing the figures for emission caused by the power sector in 2012 with 2013, it seems the increase in liquid fuel consumption due to gas shortage caused emission rising significantly.

Iran hasn't released statistics for 2014, but the country increased gas supply to power plants by 33.6 percent to about 49 billion cubic meters and decreased fuel oil and gasoline consumption by 32.6 percent to 10.2 billion liter and 24.2 percent to 0.9 billion liter in a fiscal year corresponding to 2014. Iran's fiscal year starts on March 21.

However, the total primary energy consumption increased from 1.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent (OE) in 2012 to about 2 billion barrels of OE in 2014.

Therefore, despite CO2 emission decrease in power plants, the total amount of CO2 emission rose during last years.

low efficiency rate as the major problem in power generation sector has remained unchanged during last year at about 37 percent.

Iran increased power generation capacity in 2014 by 2.78 GW to above 73 GW last year, but the share of thermal power plants in total power generation is above 82 percent.

Coming to last year, the hydro and renewable power shared only 20 percent of total power generation growth.

On the other hand, the share of reviewable and nuclear power in total power generation capacity is 0.36 percent and 1.4 percent, while the country has been facing with intensive drought for increasing hydropower.

Another factor is that most of Iran's vehicles are not standard. For instance, the vice-president of Tehran Traffic & Transportation Organization Hojjatollah Behrouz said in January 2014 that there are one million non-standard autos (25 percent of total autos), alongside 1.5 million non-standard motorcycles in Tehran.

Iran's flaring gas amount is also very high, stands at about 11 to 14 billion cubic meters per annum.

Iran's air is one of the most polluted, and ranked 12th (with 127 mg per cm in 2010) with four Iranian cities among the ten most polluted areas in the world, according to the World Health Organization, a United Nation's body.

Mohammad Hossein Ardeshiri, the director of the HSE division of the Iranian Oil Ministry said last year that Iran is to reduce greenhouse pollution 70 percent by 2020.

Dalga Khatinoglu is an expert on Iran's energy sector, head of Trend Agency's Iran news service
Follow him on @dalgakhatinoglu