For the third straight year, global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have stalled, fueling the Trump administration’s desire to exit the U.N.’s Paris accord, a scheme to retard global warming.
The CO2 estimates come from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which showed the energy and industrial sectors released 32.1 gigatonnes of emissions from 2014 to 2016, even as the global economy grew by 3.1 percent.
The IEA said the use of clean-burning natural gas, energy-efficiency improvements, further reliance on renewables, and fixes to the “structural economy” have all been factors in the static global carbon budget.
The U.S. was the biggest beneficiary: emissions fell three percent in just one year despite the economy growing 1.6 percent.
Reasons for the drop include the switch from coal to natural gas, market forces, and improvements in renewable technologies.
Global CO2 levels have risen about 3 to 4 parts per million (ppm) a year despite global Co2 Emissions flatlining for the past three years.
The latest data from NOAA shows CO2 levels went from 401.43 ppm in 2015 to 404.70 ppm in 2016, an increase of 3.27 ppm.