World March 16, 2016 | 10:00 am

IEA shows CO2 emissions heading in right direction but rapid reduction is needed: Greenpeace

Brussels.- Data released today by the International EnergyAgency (IEA) shows a stalling of global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2015,for the second year in a row.

“Greenpeace welcomes this as a sign that national climateand renewable energy policies are working. World leaders now need to doubledown on making sure global temperature increase remains within the limitsagreed in last year’s Paris Agreement,” said Li Shuo, Greenpeace East Asiasenior climate adviser.

The IEA points to declining coal use in China andsignificant renewable energy uptake in that country and other parts of theworld as responsible for the plateau in global emissions growth. This providesrenewed hope for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

“China’s efforts to tackle climate change and local airpollution are paying global dividends,” said Li. “China’s emissions may havepeaked and are now falling for the second year in a row. This puts the countryon track to surpass its Paris climate commitments, which is great news.”

Despite the Paris Agreement, however, climate ambitions insome countries continue to lag. While aiming to become the world leader inrenewable energy, for example, Europe is the only region in the world that sawinvestments in renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, decline in thelast five years.

“It’s very encouraging to see energy-related CO2 emissionsgrowth stall, but few steps have been taken to accelerate clean energydeployment so emissions start to decline,” said Greenpeace International GlobalEnergy Strategist Emily Rochon.

“As we are witnessing alarming temperature increases, thisis no time to sit back and enjoy the ride. World leaders in Paris agreed tolimit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, which requires unprecedented effortstoday, not tomorrow, to scale up renewable energy and reduce energy consumptionglobally."

The upcoming Paris agreement signatory event in New York on22 April is a good moment for the European Union and others to signal theircommitment to avoiding catastrophic climate change and the 1.5 degree C warminglimit. Ban Ki-moon is asking heads of state to come to the event with newcommitments for accelerating climate action by 2020.

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