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A turning point in carbon dioxide emissions?

Date: 25-Feb-20
Author: Liam Taylor

The IEA explained that an increasing share of renewables in the energy mix is the primary reason for emissions flatlining.

The IEA explained that an increasing share of renewables in the energy mix is the primary reason for emissions flatlining.

Contrary to the expectations of most global forecasts, the International Energy Agency has announced that global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions flatlined in 2019.

The IEA, which acts as an autonomous intergovernmental organisation for the international energy sector, announced that despite the world economy expanding by 2.9% over the past 12 months, global CO2 equivalent emissions remained unchanged at 33 gigatonnes. The agency explained that this was primarily due to declining emissions from electricity generation in developed nations, which came as a result of the increased role of renewables, the replacement of coal by natural gas, and higher nuclear power generation.

The substantial decrease in emissions from advanced economies offset continued growth in the developing world. Whilst the agency celebrated emissions flatlining after the previous two years had shown increases in emissions, the organisation noted that this would only be significant if emphasis was now put on decreasing emissions moving forward.

“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 Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director in a statement

“We have the energy technologies to do this, and we have to make use of them all. The IEA is building a grand coalition focused on reducing emissions – encompassing governments, companies, investors and everyone with a genuine commitment to tackling our climate challenge.”

To encourage this direction, the IEA plans to publish a special report in June outlining recommendations for cutting global energy-related carbon emissions by one-third by 2030.


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Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.

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