Global energy demand rose by 2.1% in 2017, more than twice the previous year, boosted by strong global economic growth, with oil, gas and coal meeting most of the increase in demand for energy, and renewables seeing impressive gains.
That's according to the "Global Energy and CO2 Status Report 2017" released by the International Energy Agency.
Over 70% of global energy demand growth was met by fossil fuel like oil, natural gas and coal, while renewables accounted for almost all of the rest. Improvements in energy efficiency slowed down last year. As a result of these trends, global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions increased by 1.4% in 2017, after three years of remaining flat.
But carbon emissions, which reached a historical high of 32.5 gigatons in 2017, did not rise everywhere. While most major economies saw a rise, others - the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Japan - experienced declines. The biggest drop in emissions came from the United States, driven by higher renewables deployment.
"The robust global economy pushed up energy demand last year, which was mostly met by fossil fuels, while renewables made impressive strides," said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA's Executive Director.
The significant growth in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 tells us that current efforts to combat climate change are far from sufficient. For example, there has been a dramatic slowdown in the rate of improvement in global energy efficiency as policy makers have put less focus in this area, Birol added.