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Global emissions growth to slow in 2016 as China burns less coal

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 09:03

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Global carbon emissions will expand more slowly this year as China's greenhouse-gas output declines.

[LONDON] Global carbon emissions will expand more slowly this year as China's greenhouse-gas output declines.

Emissions will increase 0.2 per cent, a slower pace than the average 2.3 per cent 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 per cent, 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 US president-elect, threatens to scale back climate action in the world's richest nation and reduce UN funding.

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The Paris agreement calls for 197 countries to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius and work toward net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

China, which has a 29 per cent share of global emissions, will cut its carbon dioxide output by 0.5 per cent this year versus 0.7 per cent in 2015, according to the report. Emissions in India and the European Union are increasing.

In the US, the second-biggest polluter, emissions are expected to fall 1.7 per cent, a slower pace than last year's 2.6 per cent 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," Prof Le Quere said.

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