Global energy emissions stall as renewables surge

Global energy emissions stood at 32.1 million tonnes in 2015. They have stayed flat for a second year in a row, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It believes electricity generated by […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

Global energy emissions stood at 32.1 million tonnes in 2015.

They have stayed flat for a second year in a row, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

It believes electricity generated by renewables played a “critical” role as it accounted for 90% of new power production last year.

China reduced its power emissions by 1.5% as coal use dropped, generating less than 70% of electricity.

Low carbon sources rose to 28% in the East Asian country with hydro and wind accounting for most of the increase, the IEA added.

The second largest emitter, the US, also saw a decline in its carbon emissions by 2% as the nation switched most of its electricity generation from coal to natural gas.

On the other hand, emissions increased in most other Asian developing economies, in the Middle East and there was also a “moderate” increase in Europe.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said: “The new figures confirm last year’s surprising but welcome news: we now have seen two straight years of greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from economic growth. Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change.”