DATE: March 27, 2019
SNIP: A record-smashing heat wave isn’t just a symptom of climate change—in a way, it’s also contributing to it.
Efforts to moderate extreme weather—blasting air conditioning or cranking up the heat—in 2018 were one of the major factors behind surging global energy demand, particularly in the U.S., the International Energy Agency said in a report published Tuesday. And that demand is directly linked to record-level energy-linked carbon dioxide emissions last year, even as countries pledged to substantially cut back their carbon output.
“In a way, global warming is leading to higher demand for fossil fuels,” says Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at Stockholm-based SEB Bank. “Which is kind of uncomfortable.”
In 2018, global energy demand rose by 2.3% from the previous year, the fastest pace of growth this decade and a jump seen across every source of energy, from coal to renewables, the Paris-based agency said in its annual Global Energy and CO2 Status Report.