Peak Carbon Emissions?
Carbon dioxide emissions from the energy sectors for both the world and the United States have flattened and may have peaked. In its latest global emissions report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that “global energy-related CO2 emissions flattened in 2019 at around 33 gigatonnes (Gt), following two years of increases.” This flattening is chiefly the result of a steep reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from rich countries in which renewables and natural gas are outcompeting coal for electric power generation. In addition, IEA noted that “higher nuclear power generation in advanced economies, particularly in Japan and Korea, avoided over 50 Mt of CO2.” In other words, by ramping up their use of nuclear power, Japan and Korea burned less fossil fuels and thus emitted far less carbon dioxide.
Overall, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. in 2019 fell by 140 megatons, or 2.9 percent, to 4.8 gigatons. The IEA attributes much of the decline to a 15 percent reduction in
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