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GHG emissions - outlook from IEA (Outlook 036) - Assessment published Jun 2007

Indicator Assessmentexpired Created 08 Jan 2007 Published 08 Jun 2007 Last modified 11 Mar 2014, 01:48 PM
This content has been archived on 12 Nov 2013, reason: Content not regularly updated
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Generic metadata


Environmental scenarios Environmental scenarios (Primary topic)

ghg emissions | forward looking indicators
DPSIR: Driving force
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
Indicator codes
  • Outlook 036
Geographic coverage:

Key policy question: What is the projected progress in GHG emissions reduction?

Key messages

The reference scenario* projects that rising global fuel use continues to drive up energy related CO2 emissions, from 28Gt in 2006 to 41 Gt in 2030 - an increase of 45%. Some 97% of the global increase in energy related CO2 emissions to 2030 arises in non-OECD countries. China (6.1 Gt), India (2 Gt) and the Middle East (1.3 Gt) together account for three-quarters of the increase. Emissions in the OECD group of countries peak after 2020 and then decline. Only in Europe and Japan are emissions in 2030 lower than today.


* The IEA Reference Scenario, indicate what would happen if, among other things, there were to be no new energy policy interventions by governments beyond these already adopted in mid-2008. The Reference Scenario is not a forecast: it is a baseline picture of how global energy markets would evolve if the underlying trends in energy demand and supply are not changed.

Key assessment

  • The reference scenario projects that the GHG emission in OECD-Europe will drop by 1.5% from 2006 to 2030. This is due to the European Polices which are in place by mid 2008.
  • In the 1980s, global energy related CO2 emissions increased more slowly than primary energy demand but this decarbonisation of the energy sector started to slow and reverse in the 1990s, as the share of nuclear power fell back while that of coal rose. The reference scenario projects the continuation of this recarbonisation until after 2020, before energy demand once again outpaces emissions growth.
  • The power-generation and transport sectors contribute over 70%of the projected increase in world energy related CO2 emissions to 2030.
  • Per capita energy related CO2 emissions in OECD countries are 6% lower on average in 2030 than today. In non OECD-countries they increase they increase markedly. China's emissions reach those of Europe around 2025, at more than 7 tonnes per capita, and the Middle East surpasses Japan by 2030, at over 9 tones. Despite a 15% decline, per-capita emissions in the United States, at 16 tonnes, are the highest of any country bar Russia in 2030.
  • OECD countries today have lower CO2 emissions per unit of GDP (in USD 2007)than non-OECD countries. Emissions per unit of GDP decline in both groups of countries over the Outlook period, but the decline is faster in non-OECD countries.Nevertheless, in 2030, CO2 emissions per unit of GDP in OECD countries are three times lower than in non-OECD countries.
  • Excluding energy related CO2, emissions are projected to increase by 11% between 2005 and 2030. By volume, methane emissions increase the most - from 5.7 Gt CO2-eq to 8.2 Gt. Most of the increase comes from wastewater, ruminant digestion, coal mines and leakages from pipelines due to rising global gas demand. Gas leakages have been reduced in OECD countries (where higher gas prices have increased the incentive to do so) an there are moves to reduce flaring and venting in several producing countries. N2O emissions grow by around 41%, especially those from nitrogenous fertilizer use. F-gases more than double during the periode, mainly due to continuous replacement of ozone-depleting substances by HFCs, causing a three-fold increase of the latter by 2030.

Data sources

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Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anita Pirc Velkavrh


EEA Management Plan

2010 (note: EEA internal system)



European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100