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Global carbon emissions remained static in 2016 – (one bit of welcome news)

Global carbon emissions stood still in 2016, offering climate hope, The new data is a welcome sign of progress in the battle against global warming but many challenges remain, including methane from cattle, Guardian, Damian Carrington, 28 Sept 17, Global emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide remained static in 2016, a welcome sign that the world is making at least some progress in the battle against global warming by halting the long-term rising trend.

All of the world’s biggest emitting nations, except India, saw falling or static carbon emissions due to less coal burning and increasing renewable energy, according to data published on Thursday by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (NEAA). However other mainly developing nations, including Indonesia, still have rising rates of CO2 emissions.

Stalled global emissions still means huge amounts of CO2 are being added to the atmosphere every year – more than 35bn tonnes in 2016 – driving up global temperatures and increasing the risk of damaging, extreme weather. Furthermore, other heat-trapping greenhouse gases, mainly methane from cattle and leaks from oil and gas exploration, are still rising and went up by 1% in 2016.

“These results are a welcome indication that we are nearing the peak in global annual emissions of greenhouse gases,” said climate economist Prof Lord Nicholas Stern at the London School of Economics and president of the British Academy.

“To realise the goals of the Paris agreement and hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2C, we must reach peak emissions as soon as possible and then achieve a rapid decline soon afterwards,” Stern said. “These results from the Dutch government show that there is a real opportunity to get on track.”………

Stern said many of the big emitting nations had achieved significant reductions in 2016: “However, all countries have to accelerate their emissions reductions if the Paris goals are to be met.” He said this could also drive development in poorer nations: “We can now see clearly that the transition to a low-carbon economy is at the heart of the story of poverty reduction and of the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

The new Dutch report shows CO2 emissions from China, the world’s biggest emitter, fell 0.3% in 2016. US CO2 emissions fell 2.0% and Russia’s by 2.1%, with the EU flat, although UK emissions tumbled by 6.4%, as coal burning plunged.

Of the top five emitters, only India’s CO2 emissions rose, by 4.7%. Significant increases were also seen in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Turkey and Ukraine. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/28/global-carbon-emissions-stood-still-in-2016-offering-climate-hope

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September 30, 2017 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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