【Report】IEA “CO2 Emissions in 2022” Report: Global CO2 emissions hit new record in 2022

The International Energy Agency (IEA) published a report analyzing emissions of greenhouse gas from energy production in 2022. The report covers CO2 emissions from all energy combustion and industrial processes, and additionally includes information on methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions in 2022.

Key Findings

◇ Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew in 2022, reaching a new high record – as the growth of solar, wind, EVs, heat pumps and energy efficiency helped limit the impacts of increased use of coal and oil amid the global energy crisis, it was less than initially feared.

    • Global energy-related CO2 emissions grew in 2022 by 0.9%, or 321 million tonnes, reaching a new high of more than 36.8 billion tons.
    • Amid a wave of gas-to-coal switching in Asia, global CO2 emissions from coal grew by 1.6% or 243 Mt, far exceeding the last decade’s average growth rate, and reaching a new all-time high of almost 15.5 Gt.
Emissions by Sector
  • The biggest sectoral increase in emissions in 2022 came from electricity and heat generation, whose emissions were up by 1.8% or 261 Mt. In particular, global emissions from coal-fired electricity and heat generation grew by 224 Mt or 2.1%, led by emerging economies in Asia.
  • Emissions from industry declined by 1.7% to 9.2 Gt last year. The global decline was largely driven by a 161 Mt CO2 decrease in China’s industry emissions.
Emissions from Fuels
  • Emissions from oil grew by 2.5% or 268 Mt to 11.2 Gt. Around half of the increase came from aviation.
  • Emissions from natural gas fell by 1.6% or 118 Mt, following continued tightening of supply exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Emissions by Region
  • Energy-related emissions in China were decreasing by 0.2% or 23 Mt due to weaker economic growth, declining construction activity, and strict Covid-19 measures in industrial and transport emissions.
  • Emissions from Asia’s emerging market and developing economies, excluding China, grew by 4.2% or 206 Mt CO2. Over half of the region’s increase in emissions came from coal-fired power generation.
  • The European Union reduced its emissions by 2.5% (or 70 Mt), thanks to a mild winter, effective energy conservation measures, fuel switching, behavior changes, and industrial production curtailments.
  • US emissions grew by 0.8% (or 36 Mt) to 4.7 Gt in 2022, driven by extreme temperatures.

◇ A strong expansion of renewables limited the rebound in coal power emissions. The renewables meet 90% of global growth in electricity demand in 2022.
◇ CO2 growth in 2022 was well below global GDP growth of 3.2%.
◇ Of the overall increase of 321 Mt CO2, extreme temperatures contributed 60 Mt by cooling and heating demand from extreme weather. This accounted for almost one-fifth of the total global increase in CO2 emissions.

Regarding emissions from fossil fuels, the report shows that although last year’s growth was much slower than 2021’s rebound of more than 6%, emissions are continuously increasing and hinder efforts to meet global climate goals. In the midst of calls for CO2 emission reductions around the world, it is ironic that almost one-fifth of the total global increase in CO2 emissions last year were the result of increased demand for cooling and heating due to extreme weather conditions. As the frequency and severity of extreme heat and cold waves are intensified by climate change, this trend is expected to continue.

Because emissions are still putting the planet on an unsustainable and dangerous global warming pathway, the IEA urges accelerating the transition to clean energy, including renewables, electric vehicles (EV), and heat pumps, and to intensify actions on the path to achieving targets to prevent a worsening climate crisis.

Related Links

IEA Press Release: Global CO2 emissions rose less than initially feared in 2022 as clean energy growth offset much of the impact of greater coal and oil use(Link
Report Download: CO2 Emissions in 2022(Link

Written/Published by: International Energy Agency (IEA)
Published: March 2, 2023