Americans will accumulate less fossil fuels in 2020 than in three decades, According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Consumption of oil, natural gas and coal fell by 9 per cent last year compared to 2019, the largest annual decline since the EIA began to be monitored in 1949.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused most of the fall, when people stayed home to curb the spread of the virus and used less gas. In April 2020, oil prices nosedived below zero because there was so little demand. The U.S. transportation sector alone will consume 15 percent less energy in 2020 than a year earlier. Higher temperatures last winter also contributed to reducing the energy demand for heating according to the EIA. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels fell to a 40-year low.
This downward trend must continue in order to combat the climate crisis. After returning to the Paris Climate Agreement, President Joe Biden pledged to the United States to reduce global warming pollution halfway through this decade It almost reached its peak in 2005. It is part of a global effort to keep global warming below the surface to which life on earth would struggle to adapt, to a global average temperature about 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
To achieve that goal, no new investment should be made in new fossil fuel projects, according to a recent landmark. report From the International Energy Agency. The oil and gas industry is already feeling the convulsions of lawsuits and activist investors forcing them to move faster towards more sustainable forms of energy.
Renewable energy – especially solar and wind – is on the rise. Despite the pandemic renewable electricity sources grew faster last year as they have been since 1999. After the International Energy Agency has accounted for an impressive 90 percent of global energy sector growth, renewable energy is expected to maintain the same “exceptionally high” growth by 2022.
Despite the pace favored by green energy, reducing pollution from fossil fuels fast enough to avoid a climate catastrophe is still an uphill battle. When economies reopened after the silence of the pandemic, CO2 emissions returned.
“The recovery in global CO2 emissions towards the end of last year is a strong warning that not enough is being done to accelerate the transition to clean energy globally,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in March opinion.