Published: Fri, February 14, 2020
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Global energy-related carbon emissions flattened out in 2019

Global energy-related carbon emissions flattened out in 2019

Global energy-related emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide remained steady past year, with declines in the advanced economies balancing out a rise in the rest of the world, latest data has shown.

A new report stated the leading the world in reducing carbon emissions, while also seeing economic growth.

"We now need to work hard to make sure that 2019 is remembered as a definitive peak in global emissions, not just another pause in growth". This includes support for the testing and deployment of such technologies as large scale energy storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear and carbon capture, all of which have the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The latest report released by an global agency IEA shows that the electricity produced by natural gas worldwide was more than that of coal for the first time ever, while wind-powered electricity almost caught up with coal-fired electricity.

"In China, emissions rose but were tempered by slower economic growth and higher output from low-carbon sources of electricity", the IEA reported.

The latest data prompted surprise from IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, as well as cautious optimism that global emissions may have finally reached their peak. It attributes this trend to the bloc's continued shift away from coal-fired power generation towards natural gas and, more recently, wind.

The United States led the world in tackling Carbon dioxide emissions a year ago while combining that singular success with solid economic growth, a new report reveals.

The first will be a World Energy Outlook Special Report that will map out how to cut global energy-related carbon emissions by one-third by 2030. The United States recorded the largest emissions decline on a country basis, with a fall of 140 million tonnes, or 2.9%.

European Union emissions fell by 160 million tonnes or 5 per cent last year from a year earlier due to more use of natural gas and wind power in electricity generation.

In Japan, CO2 emissions fell by 45 million tons, or 4%, from the previous year, as the country moved to restart its nuclear reactors.

However, energy-related emissions across the rest of the world continued to grow, rising by nearly 400 million tonnes in 2019, with nearly 80 per cent of that increase taking place in Asia where coal-fired power generation rose yet again, according to the IEA.

"A 15% reduction in the use of coal for power generation underpinned the decline in overall U.S. emissions in 2019", the IEA continued. This calls for a grand coalition that brings together all the stakeholders that have a genuine commitment to reducing emissions - governments, industry, financial institutions, global organizations and civil society. "The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens' access to affordable energy".

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