While the annual rate of global emission of CO2 remains high, recent reports have revealed that this increase was slower than expected, in fact the slowest over the past 10 years. This reduction is being seen as a silver lining in a dark cloud by environmentalists who believe that the change was brought about by several countries opting for green energy in order to grow economically and reduce their carbon footprint in the process.
The report was published just before the onset of the global climate talks which took place in Warsaw between November 11 and 22 this year. The meetings were conducted with the aim of creating a brand new international agreement aimed at combating global warming, taking into account industrial countries like India and China which continue to be major emitters of greenhouse gases annually.
The reports reveal that even though the level of CO2 emissions in 2012 was a record high of 34.5 billion tonnes, it projected an increase of just 1.4% when compared to the annual increase of more than 2.9% over the past few years (from 2000). And this decline has occurred even as the global economy continues to grow by nearly 3.5% annually.
Some of the reasons for this positive shift in environment sustainability include;
Use of Renewable Sources of Energy: Statistics reveal that the number of renewable energy sources saw a rapid increase of nearly 1.1% between 1992 and 2007, and doubled quickly to reach 2.4% in the year 2013.
While the economic recession has forced countries like the US and the European Union to burn less oil and gas, use less electricity, and opt for natural gas for power plants and other industries, countries like China has established policies that govern the efficiency standards of industries as well as promote the use of renewable forms of energy.
The reports suggest that if this positive trend continues, the world would see a slowdown of CO2 emissions on a long term basis. But that would depend on the internal policies governing CO2 emission in individual countries, and how consistent these countries are in sticking to their goals.
Scientists also believe that even though the rate of emissions reduced last year, it would still not be enough to stabilize the concentrations of the gases in the atmosphere responsible for global warming. In order to effectively reduce the concentration and stabilize these gases, scientists claim that CO2 emissions need to become zero, a figure that is highly improbable.