Global emissions flatline (again!)

Global emissions flatlined in 2015 for the second year in a row, while economic output continued to grow, according to new figures released by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The IEA's preliminary data shows global emissions of carbon dioxide stood at 32.1 billion tonnes in 2015, in line with 2014, having remained essentially flat since 2013.

The IEA suggests that renewables played a critical role, accounting for around 90% of new electricity generation in 2015, with wind alone producing more than half of new electricity generation!

At the same time, the global economy continued to grow by more than 3%, offering further evidence that the link between economic growth and emissions growth is weakening.

However it's not all good news: Australia’s electricity emissions grew last year, in contrast to the progress being made globally.

Emissions from Australia's electricity sector, the largest source of emissions, jumped 3% in the 2014-15 year compared to 2013-14.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said, “Post-Paris, the world is getting on with the job of rapidly reducing fossil fuel emissions. We are now reaping the rewards of countries like the US, Germany and China who are working hard to tackle climate change, but we'd be making even greater progress if countries like Australia started doing their fair share."

“It is clear what needs to be done. We need a plan to close our ageing and inefficient coal-fired power stations, which are some of the most polluting in the world, to make way for renewable energy."

“Without policies to facilitate this transition, Australians will not be protected from worsening extreme weather events and we will not be positioned to seize the economic opportunities of the global switch to clean energy.

Header image credit: Flickr user Robert S. Donovan licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0