Rapid growth in carbon dioxide emissions breaks in 2015

December 07, 2015

Despite global economic growth in 2015, worldwide emissions from fossil fuels are projected to decline by 0.6% this year.

A report released today by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) has found that emissions of carbon dioxide in 2015 will break the rapid emissions growth of the past decade.

"The major contributor to this change has been decreased coal consumption in China", Executive-Director of the GCP and co-author of the report CSIRO's, Dr Pep Canadell says.

"After sustained emissions growth over the past decade, China's emissions growth slowed to 1.2% in 2014 and is expected to decline by about 4% in 2015."

The report shows that Australia emitted over 1% of the world's total carbon emissions from fossil fuels, emitting 0.38 billion tonnes, making it the 14th largest contributor globally.

Australia's per capita emissions remain high but with a strong declining trend over the past 6 years.

The largest emitter was China, with 9.7 billion tonnes, followed by USA (5.6), the European Union (3.4) and India (2.6), together accounting for almost 60% of global emissions.

Dr Canadell said that the strongest decline in emissions was in the European Union, averaging 2.4% decrease per year in the past decade, although some of it was achieved by transferring carbon emissions to emerging economies.

Lead author and Stanford University Professor Rob Jackson added, "If India's emissions continue under the current trend they will match the EU's emissions before 2020."

"The largest uncertainty in future years is China's coal use. Stabilisation, or reduction, in China's coal use might be sustainable since more than half of the growth in the country's energy consumption came from non-fossil fuel energy sources in 2014 and 2015," Dr Canadell said.

Whilst renewable energy technology will play an increasingly important role in reducing fossil fuel emissions, the GCP report looks at future emissions pathways that could keep global average temperature increase below 2°C this century.

"Most scenarios exceed the carbon budget for a 2°C warming target in the first half of this century, which then requires up to several billion tonnes of emissions to be removed from the atmosphere each year during the second half of the century," said Dr Canadell.

"Our analysis shows that the required large scale deployment of emissions reducing technology, like biomass energy with carbon capture and storage, will be limited by biophysical and socioeconomic constraints."

This points to the need for higher ambition in decoupling economic growth from emissions growth if the two degree threshold were to be avoided."

The GCP 2015 report is underpinned by a full data and methods paper published today in the journal Earth System Science Data, with two associated papers in the journal Nature Climate Change.
-end-
Access: Australian support for Global Carbon Budget 2015 is provided by the Australian Climate Change Science Program.

CSIRO Australia

Related Emissions Articles from Brightsurf:

Multinationals' supply chains account for a fifth of global emissions
A fifth of carbon dioxide emissions come from multinational companies' global supply chains, according to a new study led by UCL and Tianjin University that shows the scope of multinationals' influence on climate change.

A new way of modulating color emissions from transparent films
Transparent luminescent materials have several applications; but so far, few multicolor light-emitting solid transparent materials exist in which the color of emission is tunable.

Can sunlight convert emissions into useful materials?
A team of researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has designed a method to break CO2 apart and convert the greenhouse gas into useful materials like fuels or consumer products ranging from pharmaceuticals to polymers.

Methane: emissions increase and it's not a good news
It is the second greenhouse gas with even a global warming potential larger than CO2.

Tracking fossil fuel emissions with carbon-14
Researchers from NOAA and the University of Colorado have devised a breakthrough method for estimating national emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels using ambient air samples and a well-known isotope of carbon that scientists have relied on for decades to date archaeological sites.

COVID-19 puts brakes on global emissions
Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel sources reached a maximum daily decline of 17 per cent in April as a result of drastic decline in energy demand that have occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Egregious emissions
Call them 'super polluters' -- the handful of industrial facilities that emit unusually high levels of toxic chemical pollution year after year.

Continued CO2 emissions will impair cognition
New CU Boulder research finds that an anticipated rise in carbon dioxide concentrations in our indoor living and working spaces by the year 2100 could lead to impaired human cognition.

Capturing CO2 from trucks and reducing their emissions by 90%
Researchers at EPFL have patented a new concept that could cut trucks' CO2 emissions by almost 90%.

Big trucks, little emissions
Researchers reveal a new integrated, cost-efficient way of converting ethanol for fuel blends that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More: Emissions News and Emissions Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.