Global carbon emissions flat for second straight year -IEA

Published 10:06 on March 16, 2016  /  Last updated at 10:06 on March 16, 2016  /  Americas, Asia Pacific, China, Climate Talks, EMEA, International, Middle East, Other APAC, US  /  No Comments

Global energy-related CO2 emissions stayed flat for the second year in a row as China continued to wean itself off coal and renewables dominated new electricity sources, the IEA said Wednesday.

Global energy-related CO2 emissions stayed flat for the second year in a row as China continued to wean itself off coal and renewables dominated new electricity sources, the IEA said Wednesday.

Preliminary data released by the energy watchdog estimated the CO2 emissions from the global energy sector last year were 32.137 billion tonnes, some 3 million more than in 2014.

“Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

While previous slowdowns in emissions growth have been caused by economic shocks, the current plateauing is happening as the world’s economy grows, IEA noted.

The data showed that emissions in China, the world’s biggest emitter, fell 1.5% last year amid the ongoing economic restructuring.

Coupled with a drop in US emissions and the fact that 90% of new electricity generation came from renewables, that was sufficient to offset continued CO2 growth in other large emitting regions such as Europe, the Middle East, and developing Asian nations.

Green groups welcomed the news, but warned against complacency.

“It’s very encouraging to see energy-related CO2 emissions growth stall, but few steps have been taken to accelerate clean energy deployment so emissions start to decline,” said Greenpeace International global energy strategist Emily Rochon.

“As we are witnessing alarming temperature increases, this is no time to sit back and enjoy the ride. World leaders in Paris agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, which requires unprecedented efforts today, not tomorrow, to scale up renewable energy and reduce energy consumption globally.”

IEA will release final 2015 emissions data, including more information on drivers, in June.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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