A report released today by the Global Carbon Project has found that fossil fuel emissions of carbon dioxide grew by only 0.6% in 2014, breaking with the fast emissions growth of 2-3% per year since early 2000s.
This is the first two-year period in a multi-decade record where the global economy shows clear signs of decoupling from fossil fuel emissions. In the past, every single break or decline in the growth of carbon emissions was directly correlated with a downturn in the global or regional economy.
What caused it?
1- slowdown in the production and consumption of coal-based energy in China in 2014, followed by a decline in 2015
China’s emissions growth from close to double digits during the past decade decline to an extraordinary low of 1.2% growth in 2014 and an unexpected decline by about 4% projected for 2015.
China is only responsible for 27% of global emissions, it has dominated the growth in global emissions since early 2000s
2- emissions from industrialised economies, including Australia, Europe and the United States, have declined by 1.3% per year on average
3- Installed wind capacity reached 51 gigawatts in 2014, an amount greater than the total global wind capacity just a decade ago.
4- Solar capacity is 50 times bigger than it was ten years ago
Yet the current emissions path is not consistent with stabilising the climate at a level below 2℃ global warming.