Flat lining of GHG emissions in 2014: trend or one off?

smokestacksThe International Energy IEA recently released data showing that the global CO2 emissions associated with the energy sector remained stable in 2014, not increasing from the 2013 output even though the world economy grew.  E&E reported that “researchers said the early numbers showing that CO2 emissions remained steady at 32.3 billion metric tons in 2014 mark[s] the first time in 40 years that a dip in energy-sector emissions has not been linked to an economic downturn.”

IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said that “this gives me even more hope that humankind will be able to work together to combat climate change, the most important threat facing us today.  It provides much-needed momentum to negotiators preparing to forge a global climate deal in Paris in December: for the first time, greenhouse gas emissions are decoupling from economic growth.”  Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, noted that if this data is correct, “you can actually start to see the climate policies as they start to work. At the global level, this is very exciting.”  For more specifics about why (including China’s impact on the 2014 data), read here.