The stunning reductions in global energy usage in 2020 represent more than a simple pandemic-related aberration, BP said July 8 in its annual “Statistical Review of World Energy.” They also illustrate how the world is not on track to meet goals set by the Paris Agreement.

The decreased consumption resulted in a 6.3% reduction in carbon emissions, also the largest decline since World War II, which brought the output back to the level of 2011.

“The key feature of last year’s fall in energy demand is that it was surprisingly big,” Spencer Dale, BP’s chief economist, said in his analysis. “Even after controlling for the collapse in economic activity, the decline in energy demand was close to twice the size of the ‘predicted’ fall: 4.5% compared with a predicted fall of around 2.5%.”

Broken down, the decrease in oil demand accounted for about three-quarters of overall global demand decline, BP said. It was also the key factor in the drop-off of carbon intensity of the energy mix.

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