The fall in energy demand, and carbon emissions as a result, was “far bigger” than what BP (BP) predicted, according to Giulia Chierchia, BP executive vice president of strategy and sustainability.
“Even after controlling for the collapse in economic activity, the actual decline in energy demand was close to twice the size of the predicted fall, 4.5% compared to a [predicted] fall of around 2.5%,” Chierchia said in a recent BP earnings call.
Overall energy demand fell massively last year against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and the largest economic recession in post-war history. According to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Americans used approximately 7% less energy in 2020 — for a total of 92.9 quads (quadrillion British Thermal Units) — compared to 2019. The highest recorded energy use in American history was in 2018, when 101.2 quads were consumed.