Good News – Emissions Are 'No Longer Following Worst Case Projections'

Some rare positivity for those with chronic climate anxiety.
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Everything to do with the future of the planet seems like a garbage fire at the moment.

With the UN saying climate targets aren’t ambitious enough, to the recent wildfires in Canada engulfing New York in a doomsday-style orange fog, it’s easy to get bogged down in the bad news and worry about the future.

But there is *some* positive news mixed in with the bad stuff. Apparently, world CO2 emissions are no longer following a terrifying worst-case scenario outcome.

A Substack post by climate scientist Zeke Hausfather details how emissions had rapidly increased at a rate of 3% per year in the 2000s, but over the last decade or so, things have started to change.

He says that the slowing in emissions is due to the “rapidly accelerating energy transition driven by falling costs of clean energy technologies, that has led to a stagnation of global coal use”.

He also explains that the world spent $1.1 trillion dollars in clean energy technologies last year, an increase of nearly $300 billion from the previous year.

Things are said to continue in this vein even with countries being slow to act against the climate crisis.

None of the world’s biggest emitters — China, the US, the European Union (EU) and India — have reduced their emissions enough to meet the Paris Agreement goals, but Hausfather comments that there’s a growing consensus in the scientific literature that global emissions are likely to remain flat “even in the absence of strong climate policies enacted by countries”.

So… what are the main takeaways from this rare piece of relatively uplifting climate news?

Hausfather says that we’re no longer heading towards the very worst-case scenario outcome of 4-6C of global warming.

We’re not totally out of the woods, though – we’ll likely see a warming of up to 2.6C. And that change may sound small, but it will still have a huge impact on communities around the world.

This news shows that change is possible though, if we concentrate our efforts, policies and money towards saving the planet.

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