By JR on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
More evidence that the recent global temperature uptick is not the result of human activities
The Cape Grim figures show that CO2 levels have been static during the recent temperature uptick and these new figures below show the same thing. But if CO2 figures have been static, they cannot have been driving a temperature uptick. These latest CO2 emission figures are probably a bit shaky, but no more so than other climate-related figures. At least there seems to be no evidence that they are massaged, unlike temperature data from NOAA and GISS
Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions held steady for the second year in a row while the economy grew, according to the International Energy Agency.
In a simple, two-column spreadsheet released yesterday, IEA showed that the world’s energy sector produced 32.14 metric gigatons of carbon dioxide in 2015, up slightly from 32.13 metric gigatons in 2014. Meanwhile, the global economy grew more than 3 percent.
Analysts credited the rise of renewables—clean energy made up more than 90 percent of new energy production in 2015—for keeping greenhouse gas emissions flat.
“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,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol in a press release. “Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change.”
IEA, an energy cooperative and research firm with 29 member countries, has tracked global greenhouse gas emissions for 40 years and in that time witnessed only three other periods when global emissions fell, each associated with an economic recession.
The findings challenge assumptions that billowing smokestacks are harbingers of growing economies. They also indicate that a similar report last year was not a fluke but part of a larger trend of decoupling emissions from growth.
Mixed reactions greeted the findings.
Doug Vine, a senior energy fellow at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, said IEA’s announcement echoes past trends within many developed nations in which gross domestic product grew much faster than greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is the first time it’s showed up at the global level,” he said.