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    IEA Confirms Decoupling of Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Economic Growth

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    Carbon dioxide emissions stayed virtually at the same level for the second consecutive year in 2015, an analysis of preliminary data by the International Energy Agency (IEA) confirmed Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions stayed virtually at the same level for the second consecutive year in 2015, even though the global economy continued to grow, owing to a surge in renewable power around the world, an analysis of preliminary data by the International Energy Agency (IEA) confirmed Wednesday.

    Global energy-related emissions were recorded at 32.1 billion metric tons in 2015, which is in line with 2014 levels.

    "The IEA preliminary data suggest that electricity generated by renewables played a critical role, having accounted for around 90% of new electricity generation in 2015; wind alone produced more than half of new electricity generation. In parallel, the global economy continued to grow by more than 3%, offering further evidence that the link between economic growth and emissions growth is weakening," a press release accompanying the analysis reads.

    The fact that pollution levels stalled serves as confirmation of the decoupling of global emissions and economic growth, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol was cited in the press release as saying.

    "Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change," Birol stressed.

    The world’s largest emitters, China and the United States, both showed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in 2015, the Paris-based monitoring organization noted. In particular, emissions decreased by 1.5 percent in China, as use of coal went down for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, in the United States, emissions dropped by 2 percent, as a distinct shift from coal to natural gas use in electricity generation occurred, according to the IEA analysis.

    On December 12, 2015, about 200 countries signed an agreement in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) to cut greenhouse emissions and limit the rise in average global temperatures.

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    Tags:
    greenhouse emissions, carbon dioxide, renewable energy, International Energy Agency (IEA), United States, China
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