Finally, there has been some action on the climate-crisis front by developed nations, most of which are the worst emission offenders. Expansion of wind, solar and other sustainable power generation capacity such as nuclear in developed nations, the International Energy Association (IEA) says,has helped energy-related CO2 emissions “flatline” in 2019, at 33 gigatonnes.
Global emissions had risen in both 2017 and 2018 after having remained constant since 2014. However, the 2019 emissions may prove no peak—the 2017 and 2018 emissions proved that the 2014-2016 period was a mere pause—given many Asian countries seem set to take over from advanced countries on emissions ignominy.
While power sector emissions in advanced countries have fallen to “levels last seen in the 1980s”—the US has recorded the sharpest decline, of 140 million tonnes—this fall was offset by the 400-million-tonne rise in the rest of the world. Asian countries, where coal generation is rising, accounted for nearly 320 million tonnes of this.
The 2019 ‘flatlining’ could seem cause for cheer, but it hardly reflects the wide, and deep, action on climate change that is needed. US president, climate denier Donald Trump, has walked the country—the worst historical and one of the worst current emitters—out of the Paris agreement.