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COP21: Carbon emissions 'to stall or even decline' this year

December 7, 2015 8:38 pm

Global emissions of carbon dioxide are likely to stall and even decline slightly this year new data suggests

Researchers say it is the first time this has happened while the global economy has continued to grow.

The fall-off is due to reduced coal use in China, as well as faster uptake of renewables, the scientists involved in the assessment add.

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But they expect the stall to be temporary and for emissions to grow again as emerging economies develop.

According to the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change and presented here at COP21 in Paris, emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry are likely to have fallen 0.6% in 2015.

They increased by around the same amount in 2014.

Since 2000, global emissions have grown annually by 2-3%. The slowdown has occurred while the global economy has grown by 3% in both 2014 and 2015.
“We’re expecting a stalling in emissions, possibly even a little decrease,” said Prof Corinne Le Quere from the University of East Anglia, UK, who led the data analysis.

“The main cause is from decreased coal use in China.
It’s restructuring its economy, but there is also a contribution from the very fast growth in renewable energy worldwide, and this is the most interesting part: can we actually grow renewable energy enough to offset the coal use elsewhere?”

COP 21 – the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties – will see more than 190 nations gather in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the threat of dangerous warming due to human activities.

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