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China's efforts to curb coal contributes to slowdown in global emissions, says new research





Global carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal, oil and gas as well as from industrial activities grew by just 0.6% in 2014, according to researchers from the Global Carbon Project of the organisation Future Earth.

The researchers say emissions have grown even more slowly this year, and may even show a small decrease of 0.6% by the end of this year.

Carbon dioxide emissions account for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the earth. Climate change is reducing farm output worldwide, intensifying storms, floods and droughts and raising the global sea level. For the billions of people who rely on monsoons, climate change is making rainy seasons shorter, but with more intense rainfall.

So a small increase in emissions or even a possible drop is positive news. But there is no cause for celebration, the researchers warned, as they released their report on the sidelines of the November 30-December 11 UN climate summit in Paris.

Concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) passed the 400 parts per million stage in 2015, its highest in 800,000 years. This is close to a tipping point beyond which climate change could be catastrophic in many parts of the planet, the UN’s climate science panel has warned.

Only drastic cuts in global CO2 over the next few decades are likely to put the world on a path to cap an average rise in global temperatures to 2C, but the Paris summit is unlikely to agree cuts anywhere near what is required, while 1.5C threshold insisted upon by small island states would be increasingly out of reach in a modest agreement. 


The article’s full-text is available here.

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