Carbon dioxide levels from the energy sector reached record levels last year, according to the Energy Institute

London (AFP) - Global energy sector carbon dioxide emissions hit a record peak last year counter to Paris commitments, a key study warned Monday, and highlighted the “worst ever” impacts of climate change.

UK-based global industry body the Energy Institute laid out the main findings of its Statistical Review of World Energy, conducted with consultancies Kearney and KPMG.

“Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, industrial processes, flaring and methane… continued to rise to a new high growing 0.8 percent in 2022,” read the study.

The annual review was historically published by energy major BP but it has been handed to the institute.

Primary energy consumption grew about one percent last year from 2021, or almost three percent when compared with its pre-Covid level in 2019, the review found.

Fossil fuels remain dominant at 82 percent of consumption, despite a strong showing from renewables.

Meanwhile, wind and solar power together hit a record 12 percent of total electricity generation, helped by the biggest ever increase in capacity for both.

Demand for fuel for transportation continued to rebound from pre-pandemic levels, although China held “significantly” below due to the ongoing impact of its prior ‘Zero Covid’ restrictions.

Energy Institute President Juliet Davenport warned the sector was heading in the “opposite direction” to the goals of the Paris deal.

“2022 saw some of the worst ever impacts of climate change – the devastating floods affecting millions in Pakistan, the record heat events across Europe and North America – yet we have to look hard for positive news on the energy transition in this new data,” Davenport said.

“Despite further strong growth in wind and solar in the power sector, overall global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increased again.

“We are still heading in the opposite direction to that required by the Paris Agreement.”

Under the 2015 Paris accord, nations pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century with the aim of limiting the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels.

Richard Forrest, chair of Energy Transition Institute at Kearney, added that soaring greenhouse gas emissions reinforced “the need for urgent action to get the world on track to meet the Paris targets.”

He noted 2022 was a “turbulent year” that saw energy security top the agenda due to key producer Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and rebounding post-pandemic demand.