Global carbon emissions 'flatline' in 2019

  • Global carbon emissions 'flatline' in 2019

Global carbon emissions 'flatline' in 2019

Despite media reports predicting the contrary, USA energy-related carbon dioxide emissions fell 2.9 percent a year ago, according to a report published Tuesday.

After two years of growth, global emissions remained unchanged at 33 gigatons in 2019, even as the world economy grew by 2.9 percent.

Other factors helping to stem emissions growth past year included milder weather in several countries, as well as sluggish economic growth in some emerging markets, according to the IEA.

"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", said Birol.

The country with the biggest drop in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions was the United States, which recorded a fall of 2.9 percent to 4.8 gigatons on the back of coal-fired power plant closures and lower demand for electricity.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded on Twitter, "FACT you will NEVER see on the 6 o'clock news: US emissions FELL 2.9%, or by 140 million tons, continuing the trend of the United States LEADING THE WORLD IN TOTAL EMISSIONS DECLINE since 2000".

Global emissions from energy held steady in 2019 for the first time in three years as developed nations continued to move away from coal power and toward renewable energy and natural gas.

Canada's carbon emissions were not available in the press release.

But ... Emissions rose by almost 400 million tons overall in poorer parts of the world, where energy consumption and, by extension, coal demand is still rising.

A significant decrease in emissions in advanced economies in 2019 offset continued growth elsewhere.

It follows UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement last week that his government plans to bring forward the planned phase-out date for coal-fired power by a year to 2024, amid latest data showing UK greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.1 per cent in 2018. The Asian economies can do the same, with a little help from Canada's vast natural gas reserves - if the government, Indigenous groups and the industry can find a way. It also noted that over the last 20 years, US emissions have decreased almost one gigaton (1 billion metric tons).

Late past year, worldwide climate experts warned that global temperatures could rise sharply this century with "wide-ranging and destructive" consequences after greenhouse gas emissions hit record levels in 2018.

To support these objectives, the IEA will publish a World Energy Outlook Special Report in June that will map out how to cut global energy-related carbon emissions by one-third by 2030 and put the world on track for longer-term climate goals.

"Today's IEA report on global emissions is proof positive that innovation and technology are the solution to the world's climate challenges", U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said in a statement Tuesday.

"This welcome halt in emissions growth is grounds for optimism that we can tackle the climate challenge this decade", Birol said.