Global Carbon Emissions Down 1.3% in 2009
For the first time in over a decade, global carbon emissions have decreased over the course of a year. IWR, a renewable energy institute that advises the German government, reported on Friday that world carbon emissions decreased 1.3% in 2009, to a total of 31.3 billion tonnes.
IWR named two main causes for this decline in carbon emissions: an increased global investment in alternative energy sources, and the global economic crisis. Many countries are pushing for greener means of producing energy. In 2009, spending on renewable fuel installations rose from approximately $154 billion in 2008 to $161 billion.
According to IWR director Norbert Allnoch, however, the current economic crisis is severe enough that carbon emissions should have fallen even lower. Declines in carbon emissions in the U.S., Europe, Russia, and Japan were somewhat offset, however, by increased emissions in Asian and Middle Eastern countries. Economic growth in China pushed the country's carbon emissions to 7.43 billion tonnes in 2009, making it the highest emitter in the world. The U.S. was next on the list, followed by Russia, India, and Japan.