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Global carbon dioxide emissions stayed flat in 2019, despite growing economy

by Ace Damon
Global carbon dioxide emissions stayed flat in 2019, despite growing economy

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  • The world emitted about 33 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from energy use in 2019.
  • The United States recorded the largest decline in emissions in each country.
  • Now, US emissions have dropped by almost 1 gigaton from their peak in 2000.

Some good and rare news from the front of climate change.

Global carbon dioxide emissions in 2019 were the same as in 2018, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Overall, 33 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide were emitted worldwide by energy use in 2019, even as the world economy expanded by almost 3%. That was the same level as 2018.

The agency attributed the shutdown to "declining emissions from electricity generation in advanced economies, thanks to the increasing role of renewable sources (mainly wind and solar), switching from coal to natural gas and increased energy generation. nuclear".

The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas, releases greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, into the Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Emissions have caused the planet's temperatures to rise to levels that cannot be explained by natural factors, the scientists report.

In the past 20 years, the world's temperature has increased by about two-thirds of a degree Fahrenheit, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The United States recorded the largest decline in emissions by country, a drop of 140 million tonnes, or 2.9%, according to the report. The country's electricity demand has fallen thanks to a milder summer and warmer winter than in previous years, according to the report.

Now, US emissions have dropped nearly 1 gigaton from their peak in 2000.

"It is good news that energy-related emissions have not increased, or at least not much, in the past year", Massachusetts Institute of Technology said in a statement. "But we are nowhere close to reducing carbon pollution at the pace necessary to deal with climate change.

"To prevent global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels – hot enough to destroy the world's coral reefs, among other serious dangers – the world needs to cut emissions by 25 % in this decade and reach zero in 2070, according to the United Nations climate panel ", said MIT.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said in a declaration: "Now we need to work hard to ensure that 2019 is remembered as a definitive peak in global emissions, not just another growth pause. This welcome stop in emissions growth is reason for optimism that we can face the climate challenge this decade. .

"It is evidence that clean energy transitions are underway – and it is also a sign that we have the opportunity to significantly change the emissions needle through more ambitious policies and investments," concluded Birol.

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