This year has been a historic year for our planet. While the world economy has continued to grow, the CO2 emissions haven’t climbed. We haven’t been able to pull off this feat for the last 40-odd years.
A recently compiled report has indicated that, while the global economy continued its unabated march owing to relatively peaceful times, our collective carbon emissions or as it is commonly referred to as carbon footprint hasn’t become larger. The group behind the report – the International Energy Agency (IEA) – feels it is due to the considerable growth in deployment of renewable energy facilities by some of the biggest countries and their governments.
As the dominant species of the earth, we still put out 32.3 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere last year. While this may be a deeply concern-worthy figure, we can take solace in the fact that this was the almost the same amount we spewed into our environment in 2013. Meanwhile, the global economy grew about 3 percent.
The report indicates that in the last 40 years there have been only three instances where carbon emissions remained unchanged from the previous year – once in the early 1980’s, 1992 and 2009. However, this is the first time that the earth-friendly event has been coupled with economic growth, explained IEA chief economist Fatih Birol.
“This is both a very welcome surprise and a significant one. 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. 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.”
Carbon emissions have always been the bane of economic development. Hence this is quite important for us all that these two are gradually delinked using renewable and sustainable form of energy sources like wind, hydro and solar.
Fortunately, some of the biggest polluters on the planet have started to think and act seriously about using renewable energy sources to power their economic growth. China for instance, produces way more energy utilizing the wind, than it does from nuclear power plants. While America is gradually aiming to enhance its dependence on renewable energy resources, the pace is still slower than what is needed.
Interestingly, it’s not just the dependence on fossil fuels, but countries are vastly improving the utilization of fuels, which is reducing waste and maximizing the energy usage. Smart appliances and smart homes are optimizing the consumption of fuels, while some are even sending back surplus energy generated from renewable sources like the sun.
Despite the fact that carbon emissions are appearing to stall, we are still polluting the atmosphere and climate change will get worse unless drastic measures are taken to curb pollution. Hopefully these reports serve as impetus to pollute a little less.
[Image Credit | Crooks And Liars]