Global carbon emissions will expand more slowly this year as China’s greenhouse-gas output declines.
Emissions will increase 0.2 percent, a slower pace than the average 2.3 percent a year in the decade through 2013, according to the Global Carbon Project and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. Economic production will advance more than 3 percent, according to a report written by the United Nations and academic groups.
“This third year of almost no growth in emissions is unprecedented at a time of strong economic growth,” Professor Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the UEA, said in an e-mailed statement. “This is a great help for tackling climate change but it’s not enough. Global emissions now need to decrease rapidly, not just stop growing.”
UN envoys are meeting through this week in Marrakesh, Morocco, to thrash out rules of the Paris climate deal struck last year to limit emissions after 2020. Greenhouse gases are still rising to records as Donald Trump, the U.S. president-elect, threatens to scale backclimate action in the world’s richest nation and reduce UN funding.
The Paris agreement calls for 197 countries to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and work toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
China, which has a 29 percent share of global emissions, will cut its carbon dioxide output by 0.5 percent this year versus 0.7 percent in 2015, according to the report. Emissions in India and the European Union are increasing.
In the U.S., the second-biggest polluter, emissions are expected to fall 1.7 percent, a slower pace than last year’s 2.6 percent decline. The nation has also curbed use of coal, according to the report.
“If climate negotiators in Marrakesh can build momentum for further cuts in emissions, we could be making a serious start to addressing climate change,” Le Quere said.