The growth in carbon emissions across the globe stalled last year, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
It marks the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.
Data from the IEA reveal global carbon emissions stood at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014, unchanged from the previous year.
It believes efforts to mitigate climate change could be having a “more pronounced effect” on emissions than what was previously thought.
The “changing patterns” of energy usage in China was among the reasons emissions stalled last year, the IEA said. The nation saw a rise in electricity generated from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydropower and less burning of coal.
In OECD economies, efforts to promote more sustainable growth, including greater energy efficiency and renewable energy, were also said to be a factor.
IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol, who was recently named to take over from Maria van der Hoeven as the next IEA Executive Director, said: “This gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today.”
However, Ms van der Hoeven said while the data was “encouraging”, this was “no time for complacency” and “certainly not the time to use this positive news as an excuse to stall further action”.