Quartz reports: Producing more stuff takes more energy. Using more energy means more pollution. That statement would once have seemed like common sense.
Because most of our energy has historically come from fossil fuels, rising economic growth has gone hand in hand with higher carbon emissions. But in 2014, something extraordinary happened. Globally, carbon emissions decoupled from GDP growth.
According to the International Energy Agency, energy-related CO2 emissions were flat that year, despite an increase of around 3% in global GDP. “This is the first time in at least 40 years that a halt or reduction in emissions has not been tied to an economic crisis,” the IEA said at the time. [Continue reading…]