Energy Efficiency Policies around the World: Review and Evaluation
2.7 CO2 Emissions from Energy Combustion
Developed regions are the largest emitters of CO2 from energy combustion (Figure 2.25). North America, Europe, CIS, Asia & Pacific OECD together account for 54% of the total world CO2 emissions whereas they represent only one fifth of the world population. China is the main emitter in the developing regions with 19% of total emissions.
Trends in CO2 emissions vary significantly between countries (Figure 2.26). Developing countries with high economic growth have registered a doubling in their CO2 emissions (India, Middle East, Other Asia and China). Europe managed to almost stabilise its emissions, partly because of the climate change policies. North America and OECD Asia & Pacific experienced a growth in their emissions (36% and 17%), as climate policies have been weaker in some of the countries (e.g. USA and Australia).
The decrease in emissions in the CIS is due to the sharp contraction of their economies in the 90's. Since 1998, their emissions are however strongly increasing (+ 9%). As a result of these trends, world CO2 emissions from energy use are 34% higher in 2006 than in 1990.
About 40% of countries in the world have a level of emissions per capita above 4t CO2, i.e. the world average of the countries in the range of 4-8t and half above 8 t (Figure 2.27). Countries with the highest emissions usually have abundant energy resources1.
At world level, CO2 emissions per capita increased only moderately (+5% since 1990). Without China, there is even a slight decrease. This is the result of two opposite trends: a rise of CO2 emissions per capita in most regions, on the one hand and a decrease in Europe, CIS and to a lesser extent in North America, on the other hand.
CO2 emissions per capita are very diverse. Around 1t CO2 in the less developed regions (Africa and India), 1.5 t in other Asia, slightly under 4 t in China, around 7-8 t for Europe, CIS, and the Middle East, close to 10 t in Asia & Pacific OECD and near 19t in North America (Figure 2.28). The largest growth took place in Asia and the Middle East, due to the high economic growth.
CO2 emissions from energy use increase slower than economic activity in most world regions, except in the Middle East, in OECD Asia & Pacific and Other Asia, and in about two thirds of the countries in the world (Figure 2.29).
Two main factors contribute to decrease the CO2 intensity of the GDP: energy productivity improvement on the one hand, and a change to energy sources with lower CO2 emission factors (e.g. gas, renewables, nuclear). In about half of the countries, both the CO2 intensity and primary energy intensity are decreasing and most of the reduction in the CO2 intensity is driven by energy productivity improvements: fuel substitutions played a minor role (Figure 2.30). At world level, all the reduction is due to energy productivity improvements.