Nobody thought it was possible. This is what the Heartland Institute and the hardcore Know Nothings fear most – we actually got CO2 emissions flat at the same time that our economy grew. We’ve had downturns in CO2 but they usually go along with an economic downturn. People’s actions to mitigate carbon use are actually counting for something. It’s not enough, and not fast enough, but it’s in the right direction and it’s evidence that the doom and gloom warnings of the death of capitalism that the deniers claim will occur if we act to save our planet is not a thing. We can be smart and capitalist apparently. Whoda thunk it?
The IEA attributes this remarkable occurrence to “changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries.” As we reported last month, China cut its coal consumption 2.9 percent in 2014, the first drop this century. China is aggressively embracing energy efficiency, expanding clean energy, and shuttering the dirtiest power plants to meet its planned 2020 (or sooner) peak in coal use. As a result, Chinese CO2 emissions dropped 1 percent in 2014 even as their economy grew by 7.4 percent.
China is taking action, so if someone says, we can’t because China won’t, smack ’em hard.