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Climate talks enter fraught phase as fresh emission data stir debate

  • Author:naky
  • Source:www.diecastingpartsupplier.com
  • Release on :2015-12-14
Talks in Paris aimed at reaching a global climate accord entered a fraught new phase yesterday, even as research showed the carbon dioxide emissions that the agreement is supposed to cut have unexpectedly stalled.

It was already known that emissions from burning fossil fuels barely grew last year. But preliminary estimates from an international group of scientists show they may have fallen by 0.6 per cent in 2015.
That would be a dramatic turnround from the 2-3 per cent annual emissions growth recorded since 2000 and a rare occurrence in a year when the International Monetary Fund expects the global economy to grow by about 3 per cent. Global emissions normally fall only when economic crises slow the power plants and factories that pump out carbon pollution.

“These figures are certainly not typical,” said Professor Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia in the UK, one of the authors of the analysis published yesterday in the Nature Climate Change journal. She said a stalling of emissions had not coincided with a year of more than 2-3 per cent economic growth since reliable records became available in the 1970s.
China’s emissions had been rising 6.7 per cent a year over the previous decade but this growth slowed to 1.2 per cent in 2014. The country’s emissions were expected to fall by as much as 3.9 per cent in 2015, researchers said, largely because of a fall in coal consumption in at least the first eight months of 2015.

But the scientists warned it was too early to say global emissions had definitely peaked because other big emerging economies were still planning to burn large amounts of coal.
“I would be very surprised if global emissions have peaked,” said Chris Field, a senior author of the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who was not involved with the latest research. But the data did show emissions could peak, he added.

Many delegates have begun to speculate privately that opposition from India and a clutch of other developing countries may end up weakening the final accord substantially.
The new analysis chimes with data from other research bodies, such as the Paris-based International Energy Agency, which found emissions remained flat in 2014.

But because carbon dioxide is such a long-lasting greenhouse gas and accumulates in the atmosphere, scientists say global emissions must quickly fall to zero if global temperatures are to stay below 2C of warming from pre-industrial times, a limit governments agreed at past UN climate talks.