Though Delhi has been reeling under a blanket of smog, a study published by Global Carbon Project and University of East Anglia (UEA) in the journal Earth System Science Data stated that global carbon emissions from burning of fossil fuel are expected to slow for a third consecutive year. A projected increase of 0.2% in 2016 is in stark contrast to the 2.3% growth recorded in the previous decade.
But, despite the slowdown, the growth in atmospheric CO2 concentration was at a record-high in 2015, and could set a new record in 2016 due to weak carbon sinks. Besides, though carbon emissions are to come down for a third year in a row, there is much more that needs to be done given that the emissions are still far from the scale of reduction needed to limit climate change to below 20Celsius. While the US economy moving away from coal is part reason for this, global slump,especially the slowdown in China is also a major factor. But, with demand from economies like India—emissions increased 5.2% this year taking the share of country contribution to 6.3%—growing, carbon emissions are yet to hit a peak. Technology for producing energy from renewable sources is still expensive as compared to conventional methods, but countries would have to ensure that they fulfil their pledges on curbing carbon growth by promoting these technologies. With the world still emitting over 36 billion tonnes of carbon via fossil fuels, there is little that can be done in terms of just signing energy pacts.