World Economy Grows, Carbon Emissions Decline
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has published its findings that show global economic growth can occur without heightened carbon dioxide emissions. These conclusions are in opposition to concerns that going green would not enable mass production and other industrial processes necessary to grow economies across the world.
The IEA states that the world's energy sector emissions increased a mere .01 metric gigatons from 32.13 in 2014 to 32.14 in 2015. In contrast, the world's economic growth was estimated to be 3%. This is the second consecutive year where economic growth has shown a lack of correlation with carbon emissions. The agency has been tracking these statistics for the past 40 years and has never before seen results quite like these.
Not all agree that these numbers lead to the same conclusions. While carbon dioxide has been the main focus of this study, there is no mention of the greenhouse gas methane. There is also concern that while the global economy is on the rise and emissions are falling, individual countries may not match these findings. Impoverished nations may be building their economies by utilizing coal and other inexpensive fuels, but they are only accounting for a small percentage of the world.
While some identify shortcomings in the IEA's study, there are definite takeaways. China has the world's highest carbon emission levels, but has decreased coal combustion for the second consecutive year, and still remains one of the top global economic players. The nation is also taking steps to reform its energy usage by implementing more renewable energy systems. It has been said that India is taking these same steps.
Internationally, 90% of new energy productions in 2015 were through renewable sources. Increased financial assistance for clean energy installations and widely accessible information on which products are available may drive these results to continually decrease carbon emissions in 2016.
Source: Scientific American