New report shows slowdown in CO2 emissions rise

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Global carbon dioxide emissions may be showing the first sign of "a more permanent slowdown" in the trend of increase, according to a new report released on Thursday.


The report pointed out that actual global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached a new record of 34.5 billion tonnes in 2012. However, the increase in global CO2 emissions in 2012 slowed down to 1.1%, which was less than half the average annual increase of 2.9% over the last decade.

The slowdown is due to the shift towards less fossil-fuel-intensive activities, more use of renewable energy and increased energy saving, the report said.

It also stated that three countries/regions remain responsible for 55% of total global CO2 emissions. Of these three, China (29% share) increased its CO2 emissions by 3%, which is low compared with annual increases of about 10% over the last decade.

In the United States (16% share) CO2 emissions decreased by 4%, mainly because of a further shift from coal to gas in the power sector. The European Union (11% share) saw its emissions decrease by 1.6%, mainly due to a decrease in energy consumption ( oil and gas) and a decrease in road freight transport.

Moreover, the report suggests that if China achieves its target for a maximum level of energy consumption, if U.S. continues a shift in its energy mix towards more gas and renewable energy, if EU restores the effectiveness of Emissions Trading System, global CO2 emissions might slow down permanently.

The annual report on trends in global CO2 emissions has been made by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).




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