Global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are projected to increase by one-third between 2012 and 2040, with much of that coming from developing countries, according to the EIA’s latest International Energy Outlook 2016.
The US Energy Information Administration said the CO2 rise would largely come from increased energy use in countries outside of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The continuing increase in total emissions occurs despite a moderate decrease in the carbon intensity (CO2 per unit of energy) of the global energy supply.
In conjunction with COP21 conference in Paris, many countries submitted emissions reduction goals under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
EIA said the wide array of approaches generated by the COP21 participants includes absolute reductions, reductions from business-as-usual cases, reductions in intensity, peaking targets, and specific policy actions, making quantification of these goals difficult.
Pledges include all greenhouse gases (GHGs), not just the energy-related CO2 emissions discussed here. Largely because of data limitations, EIA does not attempt to model every country individually but instead aggregates countries into 16 world regions.
The EIA said its projections for energy-related CO2 emissions may change significantly as laws and policies aimed at affecting GHG emissions are implemented and as existing laws are enhanced.
In 1990, the 34 current OECD member countries emitted 54% of worldwide CO2 emissions.
Since then, economic growth and increased energy use in the non-OECD member countries have shifted the balance of emissions.
The IEO2016 Reference case projects a continuation of the trend, with emissions from non-OECD countries increasing through 2040, while CO2 emissions from OECD member countries remain relatively flat.
Energy-related CO2 emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels: oil, coal, and natural gas. On an energy basis, coal combustion yields higher CO2 emissions than petroleum product combustion, which in turn yields higher CO2 emissions than natural gas combustion