The global emission of greenhouse gases has risen again in 2016, with a half percent in total. This is shown by numbers of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. But it is encouraging that the emission of CO2 (or carbon dioxide), the most well-known greenhouse gas, has remained stable for the second year in a row. “That is hopeful in and of itself, but we really have to step up a notch,” says atmosphere researcher Maarten Krol of Utrecht University in response to this news.
The fact that the CO2 emission has remained stable can mostly be attributed to a reduced use of coal and an increase in renewable electricity. In Russia, the USA and Japan, the CO2 emission decreased; in the EU and China, the emissions were equal to those of last year. “And that's a deviation from the trend,” says atmosphere researcher Maarten Krol of Utrecht University. “Because the economy did grow. So you could say that regarding the CO2 emission, things are slowly going in the right direction.”
There is still a lot of work to be done, for a number of reasons. In a country like India, the emission of carbon dioxide increased with nearly five percent – a trend that can also be observed in other up and coming economies. “But it's not fair to blame only those countries for it,” Krol says. “Because when we buy a new smartphone, it will be produced there. We outsource our production and with it also a part of our emissions. This makes it our problem too.”