South Africa’s carbon factor remains much above the global average
Strong improvement in the global carbon factor in 2020 (-0.9% vs. -0.3%/year over 2010-2019)
In 2020, the global carbon factor (CO2 emissions per toe of energy consumed) decreased by 0.9%, a much faster pace than over the 2010-2019 period (-0.3%/year). This improvement is due to the significant drop in oil consumption – in a context of pandemic-related transport restrictions and lockdown measures – and to an acceleration in the decarbonation of power generation (fall in power generation from flexible power plants, generally thermal ones, due to the drop in electricity consumption). Indeed, the lower electricity consumption and the continued rise in renewable power generation contributed to reduce thermal power generation (especially from coal), and fossil fuel consumption in the power sector. The carbon factor fell in the EU (-4.4%, with significant drops in Spain and Germany), the USA (-3.4%), Canada (-9.5%), Latin America and Africa (-4.4% each, with a significant improvement in South Africa, where thermal power generation fell). Improvement was slower in Asia (-0.6%), as the carbon factor only dipped by 0.5% in China (coal consumption still rising); it contracted in India (lower coal-fired generation) and South Korea (increased nuclear generation) but slightly grew in Japan and Indonesia. It also declined in Russia and Australia over reduced coal consumption, and in the Middle East (lower oil consumption).
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According to preliminary statistics from the Indian Ministry of Coal, India’s production of non-coking coal and lignite declined by 1.7% in the fiscal year 2020-21 to 708 Mt, including 671 Mt of non-coking coal (-1%) and 37 Mt of lignite (-12%). Of the total output of non-coking coal, 96% was produced the public sector, including 83% by Coal India Limited (CIL). Most of the lignite was extracted by NLC India Limited (53%). The country imported 164 Mt of non-coking coal in 2020-21 (-17%), mainly from Indonesia (56%), South Africa (19%) and Australia (11%).
Spain’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (including LULUCF) decreased by 13.7% in 2020 to 271.5 MtCO2eq (-6.4% compared to 1990 level), according to preliminary data from the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO). This drop is due to an increase renewable electricity generation, the fall in coal use, and activity and mobility limitations associations with the COVID-19 pandemic. CO2 accounted for 78% of total GHG emissions in 2020, followed by methane (14%). Transport represented 28% of total GHG emissions in 2020, followed by industry (21%), agriculture and livestock (14%), electricity generation (10%), households and services (8%) and waste (5%). GHG emissions from installations subject to the EU ETS declined by 18.7% in 2020 compared to 2019. Emissions from diffuse sectors decreased by 10% and those from dometic air transport nearly halved in 2020 (-48%). The LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry) sector is estimated to have removed 13.5% of Spain’s gross GHG emissions (36.6 MtCO2eq).
South Korea’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions declined by 7.3% in 2020 to 649 MtCO2eq (i.e. -10.9% compared with the 2018 peak of 729 MtCO2eq). GHG emissions have been driven down by South Korea's energy and industrial sectors (-7.8% and -7.1%, respectively). In the power sector, total emissions decreased by 12.4% due to temporary shutdowns of coal-fired power plants resulting in lower coal-fired power generation and due to an increased renewable power generation. Emissions from the transport sector (included in the energy sector) contracted by 4.1%, owing to reduced travel (COVID-19-related restrictions) and the continuous deployment of low-emission vehicles. Residential emissions grew by only 0.3%, while emissions from business and public sectors fell by 9.9%. In the industrial sector (-7.1%), the reduced activity affected the energy-intensive branches such as chemicals (7.6% drop in GHG emissions), steel (-2.5%) and cement (-8.9%).
Australia's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dipped by 5% in 2020 (-26.1 MtCO2eq) to 499 MtCO2eq, according to the Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. GHG emissions from the power sector declined by 4.9% but still accounted for a third of total GHG emissions in Australia. In addition, fugitive emissions (10% of total GHG emissions in 2020) declined by 8.8%, partly due to a lower coal production, and emissions from transport (18% of total GHG emissions in 2020) contracted by 12.1%, because of COVID-19 restrictions. In 2020, Australia's GHG emissions stood 20.1% below their 2005 level (the baseline year for the Paris Agreement). The country has committed to reduce its emissions by 26-28% by 2030 from 2005 levels.