Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the energy sector stalled in 2014, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) – only the fourth year that emissions levels have not grown since 1975 and the first time that was not associated with an economic downturn.
“This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change,” said IEA Chief Economist, Fatih Birol, who was recently named as the successor to Maria van der Hoeven as the next IEA Executive Director.
The world emitted 32.3 billion t of CO2 in 2014, the same level as in 2013, with the IEA saying that efforts to mitigate climate change “may be having a more pronounced effect on emissions than previously thought”. These include a push in China to reduce its dependence on coal and increase its renewables generation, as well as efforts in OECD countries to promote “more sustainable growth”, including energy efficiency and renewables generation.
Last year, coal consumption dropped in China for the first time in more than a decade, while a recent research note from Bank of American Merrill Lynch predicted a further weakening in Chinese demand over the next couple of years.
“The latest data on emissions are indeed encouraging by this is not time for complacency,” said Maria van der Hoeven, IEA Executive Director. “And certainly not the time to use this positive news as an excuse to stall further action.”
Written by Jonathan Rowland.
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