Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Culture | By Julio Duncan

Global Carbon Emissions Remain Constant For Third Year In A Row

Global Carbon Emissions Remain Constant For Third Year In A Row

Launched on the occasion of the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue, IRENA said in a press release its study presents the case that increased deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency in G20 countries and globally can achieve the emissions reductions needed to keep global temperature rise to no more than two-degrees Celsius, avoiding the most severe impacts of climate change. Pointedly, carbon dioxide emissions are now at 1992 levels in the United States, despite an 80 percent growth in the economy since then, the IEA said. The IRENA report suggests that more jobs will be created than lost with a switch over to renewables and also differs from the IEA report on the extent to which fossil fuels would continue to be used, especially natural gas.

IEA executive director Dr Fatih Birol, said: "These three years of flat emissions in a growing global economy signal an emerging trend, and this is certainly a cause for optimism, even if it is too soon to say that global emissions have definitely peaked".

A dramatically increased share of renewables and higher energy efficiency have the potential to create benefits of up to $10 trillion annually by 2050, compared to estimated incremental system costs of decarbonization of $1.8 trillion annually, according to a new report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). Coal demand fell worldwide but the drop was "particularly sharp" in the United States, the agency said, down 11% a year ago.

"They are also a sign that market dynamics and technological improvements matter", Birol says.

IEA attributes the decline in emissions to the surge in shale gas supplies and renewable energy sources which have displaced coal.

New nuclear power plants were turned on in China, the United States, South Korea, Russia, India and Pakistan in 2016 with China leading the way with an additional five reactors that increased nuclear power generation there by 25 percent, the IEA said. Two-thirds of China's electricity demand growth was supplied by renewables past year, as the country continues to move away from coal.

This helped to offset increases in Carbon dioxide emissions in the rest of the world, the IEA said. It now needs to be maintained if we are ever going to deal with climate change. "While the pause in emissions growth is positive news to improve air pollution, it is not enough to put the world on a path to keep global temperatures from rising above 2°C".

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