CO2 Emissions Slow Down on Weak Growth, Less Coal Use

CO2 Emissions Slow Down on Weak Growth, Less Coal Use

Weaker economic growth, particularly in China and India, along with substantial decline in coal use in the US and the European Union have contributed to slowing down of carbon dioxide emissions globally this year.

Despite the slowdown and reducing dependency on coal in India and China, global carbon dioxide emissions are projected to rise by 0.6% in 2019. This increase, though, is substantially lower compared with the previous two years—1.5% in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018—due to a robust growth in use of natural gas and oil. Natural gas has been the dominant driver of global emissions since 2012.

The Global Carbon Budget 2019, an annual analysis of the trends in global carbon cycle published by the Global Carbon Project launched at the UN Climate Summit in the Spanish capital on Wednesday, is no cause for celebration.

“The weak growth in carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 was due to an unexpected decline in global coal use, but this drop was insufficient to overcome the robust growth in natural gas and oil consumption,” said Glen Peters, research director at CICERO.

Researchers involved in the preparation of the report said global carbon emissions are still heading in the wrong direction and that governments need to be rapidly decarbonising.

The report finds that current government policies are not enough for the aggressive emission reduction that is required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. “Carbon dioxide emissions must decline sharply if the world is to meet the ‘well below 2°C’ mark set out in the Paris Agreement, and every year, with growing emissions, makes that target even more difficult to reach,” said Robbie Andrew, a senior researcher at the CICERO Center for International Climate Research in Norway.

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