Carbon emissions have leveled off and in 2015, 90% of all new energy systems put into place were those from renewable sources.
It is indicative of a global culture that is waking up, not only to the financial saving of having a power system that requires no fuel, but to the fact that burning carbon-based fuel causes excessive CO2 levels to enter the environment, contributing to unecessary climate change.
Of the 90%, half of the new energy sources were wind-powered, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
“The new figures confirm last year’s surprising but welcome news: we now have seen two straight years of greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from economic growth,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change.”
Here, you can see CO2 emissions having leveled off, despite a continuing growth in the global economy.
Slowing the growth of carbon emissions is a huge step forward. Decommissioning the carbon-burning plants for cleaner sources is the next task. China and the United States (the two leading contributors to CO2 emissions) both saw a reduction in emissions in 2015. China, lowered their CO2 emission levels by 1.5% and the US by 2%.
In the past, any time there was a leveling off or drop in emissions it was because of an economic downturn. This is the first time in human recorded history that CO2 levels didn't increase but the economy did.
“When the IEA said last year that global emissions had stalled whilst economic growth had continued, they understandably sounded a note of caution; was this a one-off, or the start of something major?” said Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU).
“The sense of excitement as they report similar findings this year therefore is palpable, because in essence they’re showing that combating climate change is perfectly compatible with continuing economic growth, and that’s hugely significant,” he added.