The only problem is that outlets have overplayed this development: The New York Times framed this as “a chance that global emissions have already peaked and may be starting a long-term decline”.
“Our analysis shows that the required large scale deployment of emissions reducing technology, like biomass energy with carbon capture and storage, will be limited by biophysical and socioeconomic constraints”.
Per person emissions in Australia remain high but are dropping in line with recent years, the report found. What we are now seeing is that emissions appear to have stalled, and they could even decline slightly in 2015.
“Unlike past periods with little or no emissions growth, global gross domestic product (GDP) grew substantially in both years”, they wrote. The four largest emitters cover almost 60 percent of global emissions. We all are aware that C02 is one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The biggest single factor was a sharp decline in emissions in China, where carbon pollution fell by nearly 4 percent, reflecting a drop in coal consumption within the country, the report said. “Stabilisation, or reduction, in China’s coal use might be sustainable since more than half of the growth in the country’s energy consumption came from non-fossil fuel energy sources in 2014 and 2015”.
According to the report, decreased use of coal in China was largely responsible for the decline. These regions, in what might be called the “bottom-up” approach, are implementing the climate change solutions that are proving to boost local economies and save money for taxpayers.
Todd Stern, who leads the United States delegation at the Paris climate summit, welcomed the findings as “good news”. Previously, carbon emissions only dropped in a period of economic slowdown (such as after the 2008 financial crisis), yet this notable decrease has occurred during a period of global economic growth.
China is now recovering from a slow economic growth that can be attributed to this decrease in coal related emissions however for India, the nation is planning to double its coal burning output to supply power where carbon emissions growth will likely resume to increase in the next few years.
The drop is evidence of changing behavior as countries invest more in renewable energy.
But a November report in the Asia-Pacific Journal by professors John Mathews and Hao Tan, both of Australia, noted that the growth in China’s renewable energy was also underreported, suggesting that future emissions growth could be substantially curtailed.