Global emissions are likely to grow until around 2030, also due to the increased energy consumption in emerging countries that reasonably can't penalise their development by converting to more expensive forms of energy. The growth in emissions is expected, however, to be less marked than that of the economy thanks to the energy efficiency of developed countries. Over the medium to long term, a trend reversal is even expected.
To counter the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere and limit the effects of global warming, we must reduce emissions, pursue energy efficiency and limit the use of "carbon intensive" sources.
- EIA (US Energy Information Administration), International Energy Statistics [Last accessed 28 February 2023];
- IEA (International Energy Agency), World Energy Outlook 2022;
- Robbie M. Andrew & Glen P. Peters, The Global Project's Fossil CO2 emissions dataset 2022 (elaboration) [Last accessed 28 February 2023]
The amount of energy used to generate a unit of gross domestic product (TES/GDP), also called energy intensity, is often used as an indicator of energy efficiency as, at a high level, it is a proxy measurement for the energy required to satisfy energy services demanded. If a country is more efficient in the way it uses its energy sources, reducing the overall amount of waste and emissions it has a low energy intensity.
While it is most preferable to use as little energy as possible, it is more important in terms of having a low energy intensity to have a higher GDP instead of just having low energy usage. This is explained because as GDP increases it usually leads to higher energy efficiency and thus a lower energy intensity. Developing countries tend to have low energy use, but also a low GDP.
Increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy intensity are overall goals that countries set as a way to mitigate the effects of climate change and conserve energy.