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Energy & Enviro Finland

31 Oct 2013 02:10:33

Slowdown in the increase of global emissions last year

Actual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 34.5 billion tonnes in 2012, which means a relative increase in 2012 compared to 2011 of only 1.1 percent - less than half of the average annual increase of 2.9 percent over the last decade. This is remarkable, as the global economy grew by 3.5 percent in 2012 compared to 2011.

The share of the 'new' renewable energy sources (solar, wind and biofuel) increased with accelerating speed: it took 15 years from 1992 for the share to double from 0.5 percent to 1.1 percent, but only 6 more years to do so again, to 2.4 percent in 2012.

These are the main findings of the annual report ‘Trends in global CO2 emissions’, released today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).

This might also indicate that a further slowdown in the increase in global CO2 emissions is achievable if:

*China achieves its own target of a maximum level of energy consumption by 2015 and its shift to gas, with a natural gas share of 10 percent by 2020;

*the United States continues to shift its energy mix towards more gas and renewable energy; and

*EU member states agree on restoring the effectiveness of the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to further reduce actual emissions. EU ETS was launched in 2005 to combat climate change.

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