Emissions from fossil fuels to drop in 2015

Sydney, Dec 8 (IANS) Worldwide emissions from fossil fuels are projected to decline by 0.6 percent in 2015, even as India has figured among the top four emitters who jointly account for almost 60 percent of global emissions, a report said.

The report by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) has found that emissions of carbon dioxide in 2015 will break the rapid emissions growth of the past decade, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CISRO), Australia, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The major contributor to this change has been decreased coal consumption in China”, said CISRO’s Pep Canadell, executive director of the GCP and co-author of the report.

“After sustained emissions growth over the past decade, China’s emissions growth slowed to 1.2 percent in 2014 and is expected to ecline by about four percent in 2015.”

The report shows that China remains the largest emitter with 9.7 billion tonnes, followed by the US (5.6), the European Union (3.4) and India (2.6) — together accounting for almost 60 percent of global emissions.

Lead author and Stanford University’s professor Rob Jackson said, “If India’s emissions continue under the current trend, they will match the EU’s emissions before 2020.”

“The largest uncertainty in future years is China’s coal use. Stabilisation, or reduction, in China’s coal use might be sustainable since more than half of the growth in the country’s energy consumption came from non-fossil fuel energy sources in 2014 and 2015,” Canadell said.

While renewable energy technology will play an increasingly important role in reducing fossil fuel emissions, the GCP report looks at future emissions pathways that could keep global average temperature increase below two degrees Celsius this century.

The GCP 2015 report is underpinned by a full data and methods paper published in the journal Earth System Science Data, with two associated papers in the journal Nature Climate Change.

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