Economic growth no longer translates into more greenhouse gas: IEA

March 16, 2016
For the second year running, worldwide CO2 emissions stalled in 2015 while the global economy grew by 3.1 percent, after a 3.4-p
For the second year running, worldwide CO2 emissions stalled in 2015 while the global economy grew by 3.1 percent, after a 3.4-percent rise in 2014, the International Energy Agency said

Global economic growth did not translate into more harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector last year, the IEA said on Wednesday, a strong indication that growth and increased pollution no longer go hand in hand.

For the second year running, worldwide CO2 emissions stalled in 2015 while the global economy grew by 3.1 percent, after a 3.4-percent rise in 2014, the International Energy Agency said.

A surge in the contribution from explains the decoupling of growth and CO2 emissions, with clean energy sources accounting for 90 percent of all new electricity generation in 2015.

Wind alone contributed half of all new electricity generation, the IEA said.

"We now have seen two straight years of decoupling from economic growth," IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a statement.

"Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change."

There have been four instances of falling CO2 emissions year-on-year in the last four decades, three of which coincided with economic weakness, in contrast to the scenario seen these past two years.

The two largest greenhouse gas emitters, the United States and China, both registered declines in CO2 production in 2015.

But this was offset by increased emissions in other Asian developing countries, the Middle East and, to a less extent, in Europe, keeping the overall level flat, the IEA said.

The 29-nation IEA provides analysis on global energy markets and advocates policies enhancing the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy.

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

Related Stories

Global growth in CO2 emissions plateaus

November 25, 2015

After a decade of rapid growth in global CO2 emissions, which increased at an average annual rate of 4%, much smaller increases were registered in 2012 (0.8%), 2013 (1.5%) and 2014 (0.5%). In 2014, when the emissions growth ...

Record leap in carbon dioxide seen in 2015

March 10, 2016

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at a record pace last year, US government scientists reported, raising new concern about one of the top greenhouse gases and the effects of global warming.

IEA: Energy emissions rose to record high in 2012

June 10, 2013

The world's energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012 to a record high of 31.6 billion tons, even though the U.S. posted its lowest emissions since the mid-1990s, the International Energy Agency said ...

Recommended for you

Study suggests trees are crucial to the future of our cities

March 25, 2019

The shade of a single tree can provide welcome relief from the hot summer sun. But when that single tree is part of a small forest, it creates a profound cooling effect. According to a study published today in the Proceedings ...

Matter waves and quantum splinters

March 25, 2019

Physicists in the United States, Austria and Brazil have shown that shaking ultracold Bose-Einstein condensates (BECs) can cause them to either divide into uniform segments or shatter into unpredictable splinters, depending ...

Apple pivot led by star-packed video service

March 25, 2019

With Hollywood stars galore, Apple unveiled its streaming video plans Monday along with news and game subscription offerings as part of an effort to shift its focus to digital content and services to break free of its reliance ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Mar 16, 2016
We need to leave the Steam Age any fuel or we suck at 400-ppm committing to 22-25m of sea-level rise as-is where-is and gained 3.05-ppm last year are you kidding??

Nearly every WTO loan is for a coal plant and everyone wants a car & a phone now, get real I can't accept this thesis as proven we'll hit 550-ppm in 50-years a linear progression the Arctic methane is a gigaton a year now with fresh evidence of clathrate pits off Norway in the news.

Consider these issues.
not rated yet Mar 17, 2016
The IEA is an "economic development" group. They are bias toward fossil fuels, and promote hydrofracking (methane) as cleaner burning, while ignoring the leaks everywhere. Their reports are "political documents" according to a swedish report. NOTICE how they ONLY mention CO2 and ignore the other greenhouse gases. The idea that human "growth" can be "decoupled" from pervasive pollutants and industrial waste, including greenhouse gases is simply BOGUS. "Consumer" culture is rapidly making our earth dysfunctional, and they are rationalizing it as AOK. They could not be more WRONG!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.