Robbie Andrew

scholar orcid twitter
CICERO Center for International Climate ResearchHome   |   About me   |   Contact me

Drivers of declining CO2 emissions in 18 developed economies


Global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuels and industry increased by 2.2% per year on average between 2005 and 2015. Global emissions need to peak and decline rapidly to limit climate change to well below 2 °C of warming, which is one of the goals of the Paris Agreement. Untangling the reasons underlying recent changes in emissions trajectories is critical to guide efforts to attain those goals. Here we analyse the drivers of decreasing CO2 emissions in a group of 18 developed economies that have decarbonized over the period 2005-2015. We show that within this group, the displacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy and decreases in energy use explain decreasing CO2 emissions. However, the decrease in energy use can be explained at least in part by a lower growth in gross domestic product. Correlation analysis suggests that policies on renewable energy are supporting emissions reductions and displacing fossil fuels in these 18 countries, but not elsewhere, and that policies on energy efficiency are supporting lower energy use in these 18 countries, as well as more widely. Overall, the evidence shows that efforts to reduce emissions are underway in many countries, but these efforts need to be maintained and enhanced by more stringent policy actions to support a global peak in emissions followed by global emissions reductions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Global Carbon Budget 2018

The Global Carbon Project has released its 2018 edition of the world’s carbon budget, including historical emissions by country back to 1751. This multidisciplinary and international effort provides a set of consistent supporting data for further analysis.Learn more »

Global Carbon Budget Figures

Every year the Global Carbon Project publishes a number of figures demonstrating the latest global carbon budget, and these are freely available for use in a number of formats.Learn more »

Real-time verification of emissions

The Paris Agreement has increased the incentive to verify reported emissions with independent Earth system observations. Reliable verification requires a step change in our understanding of carbon cycle variability.Learn more »

Web design by Robbie Andrew