CO2 emissions Current Affairs - 2019
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The European Parliament and the Council have struck a deal reduce average CO2 emissions compared with 2019 levels. The features of the deal are:
- To reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from new trucks and buses by 30 per cent by 2030.
- The deal proposes a binding CO2-reduction target for trucks at the EU-level for the first time and includes a clear stimulus for zero and low-emission trucks.
- Trucks account for almost one-quarter of the EU’s transport-related emissions and the EU did not have limits on emissions from heavy-duty vehicles till now.
The EU has the ambition of being climate-neutral from 2050. EU had agreed in December 2018 on targets for cutting emissions from cars and vans. The curbs on the transportation sector are expected to help the bloc meet its overall goal of reducing greenhouse gases by at least 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030 under the Paris climate accord.
The Members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all Member States to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically. The Parliament acts as a co-legislator, sharing with the Council the power to adopt and amend legislative proposals and to decide on the EU budget.
The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU’s political agenda. The members of the European Council are Heads of state or government of EU countries, European Commission President, High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy.
The European Commission is the EU’s executive arm. It takes decisions on the Union’s political and strategic direction.
According to International Energy Agency (IEA), the global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions rose to historic high of 32.5 gigatonnes in 2017. It was due to higher energy demand and slowing of energy efficiency improvements. This large amount of global energy-related carbon emissions comes after it was flat for three years.
The global energy demand rose by 2.1% in 2017 to 14,050 million tonnes of oil equivalent, more than twice previous 2016 rate, boosted by strong economic growth. The demand raised by 0.9% in 2016 and 0.9% on average over previous 5 years.
Over 70% of global energy demands growth was met by oil, natural gas and coal, while renewables accounted for rest. Improvements in energy efficiency also slowed in 2017. As a result of these trends, global energy-related CO2 emissions increased by 1.4% to 32.5 gigatonnes, a record high.
This significant growth in global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2017 as it shows that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient. It is also in stark contrast to demands of 2015 Paris climate agreement, which calls for drastic cuts in global emissions to meet its ambitious target to limit increase in global temperatures to no more than 2 degree Celcius above pre-industrial times.
India and China accounted for 70% of global increase in energy demand, while several major economies actually saw dips in their emissions levels – including US, UK, Mexico and Japan. The biggest drop in emissions came from US due to higher renewables deployment.
The renewables-based electricity generation rose by 6.3% due to expansion of wind, solar and hydropower. Renewables had highest growth rate of any energy source, meeting a quarter of world energy demand growth.
International Energy Agency (IEA)
IEA is an inter-governmental organization established in 1974 as per framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It was established in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis after the OPEC cartel had shocked the world with a steep increase in oil prices. Presently it has 30 member countries including India. It is headquartered in Paris, France.
Its prime focus is on the “3Es” of effectual energy policy: energy security, economic development and environmental protection. It also seeks to promote alternate energy sources (including renewable energy), rational energy policies and multinational energy technology co-operation. It acts as energy policy advisor to 29 member countries and also non-member countries like China and Russia.