CC: Walter Baxter
Europe's green fields are becoming dotted with wind
turbines, North American cars are chugging biogas rather than oil,
and China's rooftops are ever more adorned with solar panels.
Everywhere, there are signs that the world is undergoing a clean
energy revolution. But for all politicians' talk of the
"promise of clean energy", new data shows the world is still
heavily reliant on fossil fuels.
While countries are taking tentative steps down a path to a low
carbon energy sector, BP's
annual statistical review shows just how long that road
could be. We take a look at some of the potential obstacles
Policymakers are increasingly touting energy efficiency as a
strategy to improve
energy security and curb emissions. But BP's data shows
that whatever progress rich countries are making to reduce demand
is largely being cancelled out by energy-hungry developing
BP says global energy consumption increased by 2.3 per cent in
2013, continuing a long-term trend of growing energy demand - as
the grey line on the graph below shows. Emerging economies were
responsible for around 80 per cent of that increase, it
The data shows South and Central America, the Asia Pacific and
Middle East combined were responsible for about 56 per cent of
energy consumption. North America and Europe consumed around 20 per
cent of the world's energy each.
The IEA says that if energy demand continues to grow at this
rate, the world is on track for almost
four degrees of warming - so implementing energy
efficiency policies will be key to curbing emissions. But Europe
was the only region to see demand decrease compared to the year
before - by about 0.3 per cent.
So as it stands, policymakers must do much more to reduce demand
worldwide if energy sector emissions are to be curbed.
As well as reducing demand, policymakers must ensure renewables
provide for much more of the world's energy needs. For all
renewable energy's growth, BP's data shows most of the world's
energy demand is met by fossil fuels.