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What if global emissions went down instead of up?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: For the first time in modern history, global greenhouse gas emissions are poised to stop rising and begin a long-term decline, possibly as early as this year
• This unprecedented shift is driven by global trends in energy efficiency, the transition from coal to cleaner energy sources, and the growth of renewables

🔭 The context: Over the past 200 years, emissions have mostly been on an upward trajectory, only briefly dipping during significant economic downturns
• The potential decline in emissions reflects a profound change in energy production and consumption patterns across more than 40 countries
• This shift is underpinned by the increasing viability of green energy and a decrease in methane emissions.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: A global decline in emissions could fundamentally alter the politics, psychology, and financing of climate action, signaling a tangible shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources
• It would serve as a powerful demonstration that combating climate change is achievable, encouraging further investments in green technologies and potentially reshaping global energy markets

⏭️ What's next: The potential emissions peak could challenge prevailing attitudes and investment strategies, emphasizing the necessity for green investments over fossil fuels
• However, achieving and sustaining a decline in emissions will require concerted global effort, particularly to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels

💬 One quote: "I think that would be an extraordinarily powerful political and psychological moment," said Nat Keohane, former White House advisor and president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, highlighting the broadening base of support for climate action

📈 One stat: Emissions have nearly halved in the UK since 1990, showcasing the potential for significant reductions in greenhouse gases with concerted policy efforts.

Click for more news covering the latest on environmental sustainability


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