Last year may have marked “a watershed for the energy industry”, BP’s chief economist said on Wednesday (10 June).
Speaking at the launch of its annual Statistical Review of World Energy, BP chief executive Bob Dudley said the overall trajectory of emissions was higher than scientists recommend. He added that something more needed to be done – something substantial.
The launch was co-chaired by BP chief economist Spencer Dale.
Mr Dudley said carbon emissions grew only 0.5% in 2014, their slowest since 1998 and immediately after the financial crisis. He said this was because of a slowdown in energy consumption in China, as demand grew there by 2.6% in 2014 compared with 5.6% in 2012.
Mr Dale added that coal’s fall was the “most striking number” that came out of the report. After China’s real estate market slowed last year, demand for coal dropped sharply, falling 2.6%.
However, he said there was strong growth in renewables as more Chinese hydropower came online.
“Renewables were again the fastest growing form of energy in a year when global consumption growth slowed sharply,” Mr Dale pointed out.
On Monday (8 June) G7 nations pledged to decarbonise their economies by 2050 at a meeting looking forward to the Paris 2015 climate conference in December.