5th November 2013

Long-Term Carbon Dioxide Reduction Reported

Long-term carbon reduction

According to a new report, issued by the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, in 2012, global emissions increased by less than 50% of the average increase over the past decade; with carbon dioxide output up just 1.4%, compared with the expected 2.9%.


Although overall global emissions reached a record high of 34.5bn tonnes in 2012, the remarkable decrease in the annual contribution demonstrates the first solid evidence that economies of the world are becoming more energy efficient. The largest contributors; China, the US and the EU are responsible for 55% of worldwide emissions and have achieved the following savings:


Carbon Figures

How Savings Were Achieved


3% rise in 2012, compared with annual increases of 10 per cent over the past decade.

* Increase in renewable energy use

*Boosted energy efficiency

*Increase in hydropower of 23%

*The economic stimulus package aimed at avoiding a slowdown in the global recession came to an end; as a result electricity and energy prices increased at half the rate of GDP


There was a 4% carbon dioxide emissions decrease in 2012, compared with a 2% decrease in 2011.

*Increase in renewable energy investment

*A boom in the use of shale gas, which prompted a shift away from the use of coal for electricity generation


In the EU carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 1.6% in 2012.

*Growth of renewable energy sources

*Economic recession in the 27 nation bloc saw emissions decline by 1.3%. This was down to a decrease in energy consumption of oil and gas, with a 4% decline in road transport

Authors of the study believe that the new report shows the initial signs of a “more permanent slowdown in the increase in global carbon dioxide emissions and ultimately of declining global emissions”. The longevity of this trend is likely to be dependent upon the commitment of these economies to investment in renewable energy and natural gas.

With renewable energy continuing its rapid decent, initially taking 15 years to increase its global presence from 0.5% to 1.1.%, then only six years for this to more than double to 2.4% of the global energy contribution in 2012, the report concludes that the most effective way to continue the global emissions slow-down is via investment in the renewables industry and less reliance on high carbon energy forms.