Greater demand for energy and more extreme temperatures saw global carbon emissions reach a record high in 2018 partly because of higher coal use, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Carbon emissions rose by 1.7 per cent in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion tonnes, with coal making up one third of the total increase, according to the IEA’s Global Energy and C02 Status Report.
That is despite energy generation from wind and solar farms growing at a double-digit pace.
Most of the electricity generated by coal came from new power plants in Asia.
Coal use rose 0.7 per cent last year, with higher demand for coal coming from Asian countries, including China and India.
The pace of growth slowed down from the 4.5 per cent rise in coal use in 2017, although it still remains the largest source of electricity.
The report said coal use accounted for 10 billion tonnes of carbon emissions in 2018, with China, India and the US accounting for 85 per cent of the net increase in emissions.
The 560 million-tonne increase in carbon emissions in 2018 was equivalent to total emissions from international aviation.
Greenhouse gas emissions in the US increased by 3.1 per cent in 2018, China’s emissions rose by 2.5 per cent and India’s carbon emissions increased by 4.5 per cent last year.
Emissions fell in Europe and Japan in 2018.