The trend of continuous, large growth in CO2 emissions world wide flattens out for the first time, due to a decrease in coal use in China.
Some of the results for the Global Carbon Budget 2015: CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry grew +0.6% in 2014, and are projected to decline by –0.6% [–1.6% to +0.5%] in 2015.
This marks a break with the rapid emissions growth of 2.4% per year of the previous decade (2004-2013), though it is unclear if this trend will continue in the future.
China’s decreased coal use largely accounts for the break in global emissions growth coupled with slower global growth in petroleum and faster growth in renewables.
The European Union is the region with the strongest decline in emissions, declining at an average of 2.4% per year in the past decade (2005-2014).
Although the outsourcing of emissions to emerging economies played a substantive role in the earlier reductions, emissions transfers into the EU have declined since 2007.
Emissions in the United States declined by 1.4% per year in the past decade (2005-2014), a decline that is projected to continue through 2015.
India’s emissions of 2.4 billion tonnes of CO2 today match those of China in 1990, but per-capita emissions continue to be well below the global average at 2.0 tCO2. India’s challenge, however, is the need to provide 1.3 billion people with greater access to energy.
Many other emerging economies and lower-income countries are in a similar position.
The decline in emissions in the EU of 210 MtCO2 in 2014 was the same size as the increase in emissions in India of 205 MtCO2. If present trends persist, India’s emissions will match those of the EU within 2-3 years.
Global emissions from fossil fuels and industry were 35.9 GtCO2 in 2014 and are expected to decrease to 35.7 GtCO2 in 2015, with world-average emissions per person at 4.9 tCO2.