In the first nine months of 2022, less CO₂ was emitted worldwide than initially expected, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported on Wednesday. As a result, total emissions from fossil fuel combustion will grow by just under 1 percent this year, some 300 million tons of CO₂. Earlier, the agency had calculated that that would be about a billion tons. The expansion of renewable energy generation and its wider use by new electronic vehicles has prevented much higher emissions, the IEA writes. The energy agency assumed a billion tons of CO₂ emissions due to last year’s high emissions. At that time, burning fossil fuels released nearly two billion tons of CO₂, mainly due to the rapid recovery from the economic crisis that had caused the pandemic. That recovery disrupted a years-long decline in CO₂ emissions. The largest emissions this year will come from the aviation sector and from energy generation. The Russian invasion of Ukraine sparked a renewed demand for coal, replacing natural gas as a scarce energy source. Ultimately, it appears that emissions from coal combustion will be only about 2 percent higher than usual. “The encouraging news is that solar and wind are filling much of the natural gas gap – the increase in coal appears to be relatively small and temporary,” said IEA Director Fatih Birol.
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