Our World in Data: energy sector largest contributor to global GHG emissions, threatening climate crisis

Jakarta – Data from Our World in Data shows that global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reach nearly 50 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year. In 2020, the total GHG emissions reached 47.06 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The energy sector alone accounts for 73.2 per cent of these total emissions, making it the largest sector contributing to global GHG emissions.

As the earth’s temperature rises, the world faces an increasingly real threat of climate crisis. This rise in temperature is caused by an increase in GHG emissions, especially from the energy sector, which is the largest contributor. The energy sector covers many activities essential to human life and the world economy.

“It includes energy consumption in industry, transportation, buildings, energy production, and energy for agriculture and fisheries,” Our World in Data reported in late May.

Since pre-industrial in the 18th century, the Earth’s temperature has risen by about 1 degree Celsius. In the 2015 Paris Agreement, world countries agreed to reduce GHG emissions to keep the temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In addition to energy, agriculture, forestry, and land use accounted for 18.4 per cent of GHG emissions, industry 5.2 per cent, and garbage and waste 3.2 per cent. These figures show that while energy is a key sector, emission reduction efforts must include many other sectors.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasizes the importance of reducing emissions from all sectors to avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

Global measures like the Paris Agreement demonstrate international commitment to limiting global warming. However, concrete actions and collaboration across sectors are key to achieving these targets.

With nearly three-quarters of emissions coming from the energy sector, a massive transformation in how the world produces and uses energy is crucial. Some of the strategies that must be widely implemented are low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy.

The looming climate crisis demands immediate action from all levels of society and government. Only with concerted and innovative measures can the world hope to contain the Earth’s rising temperature and mitigate the negative impacts of climate change. (Hartatik)

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