(2016-11-15)Global carbon emissions from fossil fuels showed almost no growth for a third year running, thanks mainly to a decline in the use of coal in China, but a sharp decrease is needed if we are to combat climate change, according to a new report from the UK's University of East Anglia.
The study revealed that China cut emissions by 0.7 percent in 2015. A further reduction of 0.5 percent is projected for 2016.
"This third year of almost no growth in emissions is unprecedented at a time of strong economic growth," said Corinne Le Quere, lead researcher at UEA. "This is a great help for tackling climate change but it is not enough. Global emissions now need to decrease rapidly, not just stop growing."
The report's publication coincided with the current round of UN climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco.
Beijing has pledged as part of the international Paris Agreement on tackling global warming that its overall carbon dioxide emissions will peak around 2030.
The study predicts global CO2 emissions will rise 0.2 percent in 2016. Emissions growth remained below 1 percent.
Xie Ji, a member of the Chinese delegation in Marrakech earlier told Chinese media: "Many (Chinese) cities have promised they can reach peak emissions before 2030, and a few cities will try to achieve the target around 2020."
Emissions in the US fell 2.6 percent last year and have been forecast to drop a further 1.7 percent in 2016, also due to a decrease in coal production.
Beijing has promised to continue to participate in the international climate change process in the wake of remarks by US President-elect Donald Trump that indicated that Washington could withdraw from the Paris agreement after he takes office in January.
"China's policies will not be affected by any external changes," said Chen Zhihua, a member of the Chinese delegation.
Chen urged developed economies to show their leadership and fulfill their promises in helping developing economies reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.