CO2 emissions come down?
The growth of global carbon emissions has stalled after a decade of rising rapidly, a new study points out just days before Paris climate talks.
Washington D.C: The growth of global carbon emissions has stalled after a decade of rising rapidly, a new study points out just days before Paris climate talks.
After a decade of rapid growth in global CO2 emissions, which increased at an average annual rate of 4 percent, much smaller increases were registered in 2012 (0.8 percent), 2013 (1.5 percent) and 2014 (0.5 percent). In 2014, when the emissions growth was almost at a standstill, the world's economy continued to grow by 3 percent.
The trend over the last three years thus sends an encouraging signal on the decoupling of CO2 emissions from global economic growth. However, it is still too early to confirm a positive global trend. For instance India, with its emerging economy and large population, increased its emissions by 7.8 percent and became the fourth largest emitter globally.
The study suggests three main reasons for this drop: 1) a 4.5 percent emissions reduction from industrial facilities and power plants that are part of the EU Emissions Trading System, 2) a mild winter which resulted in a 10 percent lower heating demand and 3) a 0.5 percent reduction in oil consumption for transport.
For the first time, the EU's share of global CO2 emissions fell below 10 percent. Responsible for 9.6 percent of the global emissions, the EU is still the third largest emitter globally after China (30 percent) and the United States (15 percent).
Apart from the EU, other countries such as Japan (-2.6 percent) Russia (-1.5 percent), and Australia (- 2.1 percent) also reduced their emissions. Although, it remains the largest emitter world-wide, China has also managed to slow down its emissions growth.
The United States still has very high emissions per head of population, with 16.5 tonnes CO2 per capita in 2014. This is more than twice as high as those of China (7.5 tonnes CO2 per capita) and the EU (7.1 tonnes CO2 per capita).
These results were published in a report by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC).