Global CO2 emissions stall despite economic growth: IEA (Update)

March 13, 2015
The International Energy Agency said China, the world's top CO2 emitter, used more renewable energy in 2014 such as hydropower, solar and wind

Global carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sector stalled in 2014, the first time in 40 years during a period of economic growth, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

By far the main culprit in global warming, carbon dioxide emissions stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the previous year, the IEA said.

"This is both a very welcome surprise and a significant one," IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said.

"It provides much-needed momentum to negotiators preparing to forge a global climate deal in Paris in December: for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth," he said in a statement.

"The preliminary IEA data suggest that efforts to mitigate climate change may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than had previously been thought," it added.

The slowdown came thanks to "changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries", said the statement.

China, the world's top CO2 emitter, used more renewable energy in 2014 such as hydropower, solar and wind, while it burned less coal, the IEA said.

OECD countries, which include the United States and several European nations, intensified efforts to become more energy-efficient and use more renewable sources, it added.

In the 40 years since the Paris-based IEA was set up in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, there have only been three other times when emissions stalled or fell.

"All were associated with global economic weakness: the early 1980s, 1992 and 2009. In 2014, however, the global economy expanded by 3%," said the 29-member organisation.

Economist Birol said: "This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today."

But the IEA said the world could not afford to slacken.

"The latest data on emissions are indeed encouraging, but this is no time for complacency – and certainly not the time to use this positive news as an excuse to stall further action," said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven.

A key climate change conference will be held in Paris in December.

Tasked with trying to limit the rise in global temperatures to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, countries have until March 31 to announce their commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU has formally adopted a 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030, while the United States has announced plans to slash 26 to 28 percent of its emissions in 2025 compared to their level in 2005.

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8 comments

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Grallen
5 / 5 (10) Mar 14, 2015
This is great news.
Shakescene21
5 / 5 (8) Mar 14, 2015
The article didn't mention one of the main reasons why solar and wind are gaining -- that the technology for wind, solar, and renewables is getting better and cheaper. I hope the international conference in Paris is successful, but in the long run it is up to scientists and engineers and businesses to deliver affordable non-carbon energy. The holy grail is to make renewable energy cheaper than fossil fuels, so that even the global warming skeptics will quit using coal.
One reason that I (a non-scientist) enjoy Physorg is that every week several researchers announce another step forward in the quest to replace fossil fuels.
gkam
3.7 / 5 (7) Mar 14, 2015
There is a new WSJ article on how petroleum will be needed forever, or some such rot. They must be talking to themselves, because they low-ball the prospects of replacing the combustion of Filthy Fuels with new ones, not understanding it will be the technologies which will change.

Electric transportation will continue to eat away at its market until petroleum becomes mostly a feedstock for other products.
Shootist
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 14, 2015
UCLA Professors Exposes Climate Fraud, Funding Cut, Punished And Fired; Sues UCLA And Wins Out Of Court Settlement…

http://weaselzipp...tlement/
zz5555
4.5 / 5 (10) Mar 14, 2015
There is a new WSJ article on how petroleum will be needed forever, or some such rot.

It's written by Lord Ridley, who owns coal mines in Great Britain (http://www.desmog...arge-one ). So it's probably best to take the claims in the article with an enormous grain of salt ;).
Caliban
4.4 / 5 (8) Mar 15, 2015
UCLA Professors Exposes Climate Fraud, Funding Cut, Punished And Fired; Sues UCLA And Wins Out Of Court Settlement…

http://weaselzipp...tlement/


Shooty,

Dyson-, Freeman Dyson and the Fine Polar Bears would be appalled by your diengenuousness!

What "Climate Fraud!!!!!!!" are you claiming that this guy "exposed"?

Last I checked, California's regulation of diesel exhaust particulates was a matter of air quality. So, since when is air quality CLIMATE CHANGE?

DO YOU EVEN READ THIS TROLLBAIT BEFORE YOU POST IT ?

A rhetorical question, of course.
gkam
4 / 5 (4) Mar 15, 2015
Caliban, shootist is like otto, a wiki-warrior, who cuts and pastes stuff from other folk thinking he is making a point.

But without experience or education in the field, most make sophomoric mistakes, then assume the error was with you.

Decoupling growth with CO2 emissions is what the Deniers fear. It proves it can be done.
Water_Prophet
1 / 5 (1) Mar 15, 2015
There is a new WSJ article on how petroleum will be needed forever, or some such rot. They must be talking to themselves, because they low-ball the prospects of replacing the combustion of Filthy Fuels with new ones, not understanding it will be the technologies which will change.

Electric transportation will continue to eat away at its market until petroleum becomes mostly a feedstock for other products.


Amen.

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