Energy Information Administration Projects International Carbon Emission Increase Through 2050

Oct 11, 2021


The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its International Energy Outlook (IEO) last week, presenting an assessment of international energy markets under current policy assumptions. The agency estimates that if current trends continue, global energy consumption and energy-related carbon dioxide emissions will increase through 2050 primarily as a result of population and economic growth, even under cases where a majority of new electricity generation comes from renewable sources. The report also projects that natural gas, coal, and batteries will continue as a significant part of the worldwide energy mix to provide non-intermittent load and support grid reliability.


The IEO 2021 reference case reflects current trends and relationships among energy supply, demand, and prices in the future modeled on the assumption of existing laws and regulations. Across all modeled cases, the agency found that end-use sectors in non-OECD countries drive the return of global energy use to pre-pandemic levels. Despite projected energy efficiency gains, the report projects a 50% global increase in energy consumption through 2050, outpacing global population growth—mostly a result of non-OECD economic and population growth, particularly in Asia, which lacks adequate oil and gas production to meet projected demand. Despite this lack of production, the report predicts that Asia will consume more than double the amount of energy than all of the remaining non-OECD regions combined by 2050, with natural gas production increasing worldwide to help satisfy key demand markets.


To read the full report and access additional information, visit:

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