Global carbon emissions to decline for 1st time in almost a decade: report
Updated: 2015-12-08 09:36
CANBERRA - China's decreased use of fossil fuels such as coal is expected to contribute to a worldwide fall in global emissions, according to a report released by the Global Carbon Project (GCP) on Tuesday.
Dr. Pep Canadell from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) co-authored the report as executive-director of the GCP, and said 2015 could be the turning point from consistent growth in carbon emissions to consistent reductions.
Canadell said that despite global economic growth in 2015, worldwide emission from fossil fuels is expected to decline by 0.6 percent, the first decline since the global financial crisis in 2008.
"The major contributor to this change has been decreased coal consumption in China," Canadell said in a statement on Tuesday.
"After sustained emissions growth over the past decade, China's emissions growth slowed to 1.2% in 2014 and is expected to decline by about 4% in 2015."
Meanwhile, Australia's emissions make up over 1 percent of the world's total, making it the 14th largest contributor to carbon emissions, while China, the United States, India and the European Union continue to make up the majority, with 60 percent.
However, Canadell said there was a strong downward trend for worldwide emissions, with the European Union recording a 2.4 percent decrease per year over the past decade.
Canadell added that if China continues to invest in renewable energy and move away from fossil fuels, the world's emissions could continue to decline.
"Stabilization, 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.
The report predicts a swift arrest of the rapid emission growth witnessed over the past decade, which could in turn keep global temperature increase below two degrees this century.