The International Energy Agency has revealed that global energy-related CO2 emissions stalled in 2014, halting at 32.2 Gt, unchanged from 2013.
The figures were revealed in the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook Special Report 2015: Energy and Climate Change report, which also laid out four key pillars it believes must be achieved for the upcoming UN climate change conference to be a success.
The IEA notes that, despite the global economy growing by approximately 3% across 2014, global energy-related CO2 emissions were able to remain stagnant, and even fell by 1.8% across OECD nations (as the OECD economy grew by 1.8%).
Energy-related CO2 emission levels and GDP by selected region
This continues “the clear break,” as the IEA describes it, between the stereotypical assumption economic growth must be tied to energy-related emissions. And though this correlation is still in place in places like China, as seen above, there is now hope that the two need not go hand in hand forever.
According to the report, energy-related CO2 emissions were down in the European Union by more 6%, down by 3% in Japan, while the United States saw emissions increase by less than 1%. The weakening of the link between economic growth and energy-related emissions continues in China, with the country’s emissions declining in 2014 for the first time since 1999, dropping 1.5%.
Change in energy-related CO2 emissions by selected region, 2013-2014
Unlike China and the OECD nations as a whole, energy-related emissions in countries categorized as “rest of world” were up by around 290 megatonnes in 2014, led by an increase in coal power generation in India and Southeast Asia.
It is in these countries where the link between economic growth and energy-related emissions continues to remain strong.