From Science Daily:
Annual global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels could drop slightly in 2015, according to a report from the Global Carbon Project led by a Stanford University researcher. This surprising result contrasts with the rapid growth in emissions before 2014, underlining the need for action to stabilize and permanently lower global CO2 emissions, the researchers conclude.
“In 2014, global CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels grew by just 0.6 percent,” said lead author Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford. “This year we expect total emissions to flatten or drop slightly, despite strong growth in gross domestic product worldwide.”
While CO2 emissions have slowed during times of economic recession, this would be the first decline during a period of strong global economic growth, Jackson said.
The new report, titled “Reaching Peak Emissions,” was published on Dec. 7 in the journal Nature Climate Change, with detailed data published simultaneously in Earth System Science Data.
“Decreased coal use in China was largely responsible for the decline in global CO2 emissions,” said report co-author Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. “After a decade of rapid growth, China’s emissions rate slowed to 1.2 percent in 2014 and is expected to drop by 3.9 percent in 2015.”
The researchers identified China as the world’s top CO2 emitter in 2014, responsible for 27 percent of global emissions, followed by the United States (15.5 percent), the European Union (9.5 percent) and India (7.2 percent).
“Whether a slower…