Carbon emissions from the global energy industry last year rose at the fastest rate in almost a decade after extreme weather and surprise swings in global temperatures stoked extra demand for fossil fuels.
BP’s annual global energy report, an influential review of the market, revealed for the first time that temperature fluctuations are increasing the world’s use of fossil fuels, in spite of efforts to tackle the climate crisis.
The recorded temperature swings – days which are much hotter or colder than normal – helped drive the world’s biggest jump in gas consumption for more than 30 years.
They also resulted in a second consecutive annual increase for coal use, reversing three years of decline earlier this decade.China accounted for a third of the world's energy growth in 2018
Carbon emissions climbed by 2% in 2018, faster than any year since 2011, because the demand for energy easily outstripped the rapid rollout of renewable energy.
That level of growth in emissions represents the carbon equivalent of driving an extra 400m combustion engine cars onto the world’s roads, said Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist.
Dale said the report reveals “a growing mismatch” between society’s rising demand for climate action and the actual pace of progress.
Public concern over the global climate breakdown has grown significantly in recent months, driven by factors ranging from the protests led by the teenage activist Greta Thunberg to the Extinction Rebellion action,
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