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Global transition to a low-carbon economy underway—Report

The latest report indicating that the global transition to low-carbon economy is underway has given credence to emerging worldwide reduction in the transition to renewable energy which means growing shift from use of petroleum products to solar.

The implication is that economies relying on oil may have to start looking for serious alternative before it’s too late after all.

Weekend, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (NEAA) published its new report on global greenhouse gas emissions noting an overall reduction from the previous year.

The report noted that China’s carbon emissions fell by 0.3%, US’s by 2%, Russia’s by 2.1% and Japan’s by 1.3%.

EU’s carbon emissions stayed flat, with the UK, however, constituting the big success story, with a carbon decrease of 6.4% due to a steep fall of coal burning, Climate Action Programme reported.

Citing the report, Climate Action Programme said: “The CO2 emissions that were added in the atmosphere were more than 35 billion tonnes, – an amount that is still considered dangerous for climate change effects.

However, emissions of the rest of the greenhouse gases, which account for about 28% of total GHG emissions, rose by approximately 1%.”

Methane accounts for 19% of total GHG emissions and constitutes the second largest GHG category.

On global warming, Climate Action Programme said “With a Global Warming Potential (GWP) much higher than CO2’s, namely 28-36 over 100 years contrary to 1 of CO2, methane emissions increase cause concerns over scientists warning that the meat industry, especially beef, is not at sustainable levels.

“On the positive side, the fact that global carbon emissions have been flat since 2014, for three years in a row, is giving a sense of hope that global warming can be actually prevented.”

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

However, Jos Olivier, the Chief Researcher for the NEAA report said: “There is no guarantee that CO2 emissions will from now on be flat or descending.”

Climate Action Programme noted that should gas prices increase, an increase in coal-fired power in the US could be on the cards.

According to Stern, should the Paris goals be met, all countries have to accelerate their emissions reduction.

He also underlined the correlation between the transition to a low-carbon economy and the development drive in poorer countries, Climate Action Programme said.