Preliminary data from the ‘International Energy Agency (IEA)‘ suggest no reduction of global CO2 Emissions from fossil fuels in 2014 compared to 2013. Global emissions were 31.7 Billion tons in 2012 and 32.3 Billion tons in 2013 as well as in 2014 (preliminary estimate). The diagram below copied from ‘IEA Key World Energy Statistics 2014’ show the global emissions from 1971 to 2012. According to IEA 2014 was the first year in four decades with growing global economy (by 3%) without a corresponding increase of CO2 Emissions from fossil fuels. Or as IEA puts it: “for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth.” Since the world population is growing around 1% annually the CO2 Emissions per capita has decreased by about 1% in 2014 compared to 2013 (preliminary estimate). This good news must, however, be put into perspective before applause breaks out – read below the diagram.
First five highlights to remember from ‘Early history of global warming science and predictions’:
Since then, scientific warnings have come in a steady flow along with endless climate negotiations. The world’s two largest economies China and the United States combined were responsible of 34% of the global CO2 Emissions from fossil fuels in 1980 and 41% in 2012 (and their total share of the global Climate Debt in ClimatePositions was 37% in 2013).
Despite the long history of alarming predictions China and especially the United States have persistently derailed negotiations towards a globally binding CO2 reduction agreement – and today voluntariness is still the keystone.
The stalled global Carbon Dioxide from fossil fuels in 2014 is good news, but it is also disastrous because no less than significant reductions will do. See the ‘polynomial projections of global warming‘. Note that CO2 emitted in 2012 will cause global warming the next century – with accelerating consequences due to feedback loops.
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