Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production increased in 2013 to the new record of 35.3 billion tonnes (Gt) CO2, which is 0.7 Gt higher than last year’s record. This moderate increase of 2% in 2013 compared to 2012 is a continuation of last year’s trend and of the slowdown in the annual emissions growth. These annual increases are about half the average annual growth rate of 1.1 Gt or 3.8% than on average in the last ten years.
The moderate increases in global CO2 emissions in 2012 and 2013 seem remarkable in times when global economic growth of 3.1% (2013) was about two-thirds of the average economic growth in the last decade. The small increase in 2012 was a first sign of a slowdown in the increase in global CO2 emissions and the 2013 growth rate of 2.0% is a continuation. In addition, energy consumption data on China in the first half of 2014 also shows a continuation of this ‘stagnation’ in annual growth. China reported that its CO2 emissions intensity per unit of GDP declined in this half year corresponding with an annualised growth in CO2 emissions of about 2%, suggesting that the slowed growth may continue, if not further decrease.