Study Finds CO2 Emissions Are Dropping In 18 Countries

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March 8, 2019

With so many worrisome reports about climate change, there’s finally some half-decent news where the environment is concerned. A study has found CO2 emissions have dropped in 18 countries that have strong policies.

The research appears in the journal Nature Climate Change.

It reveals that countries moving away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are seeing serious progress when it comes to protecting Mother Nature.

Other possible contributing factors are more electric cars on the road and more efficient heating systems.

Emissions were studied between 2005 and 2015, and while they were on the rise around the world at a rate of 2.2% a year, they dropped in the 18 countries with the most active environmental initiatives.

The countries to be congratulated account for 28% of global emissions and include:

Austria

Belgium

Netherlands

Croatia

Finland

Romania

Ireland

Italy

Bulgaria

Portugal

Denmark

Spain

France

Sweden

Germany

UK

Hungary

USA

The study’s authors say their findings prove to naysayers that environmental policies do work; we just have to follow them.

Canada Misses The Cut

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau probably received the memo that his country didn’t make the list. While the “top 18” saw emissions drop by about 3-4%, Canada’s decreased by only half a percent.

Earlier this week, Trudeau tweeted, “We’re taking action NOW to fight climate change by putting a price on pollution, phasing out coal, reducing plastics in our oceans, investing in cleaner transit, [and] conserving green spaces.”

All very valid ideas, but we have to implement them.

Energy Solutions

According to one expert who spoke with CBC News, many of the countries that have succeeded in reducing CO2 emissions are well-ahead of the game thanks to their renewable energy-driven economies.   

Sweden, for example, announced in 2015 that it plans to eliminate fossil fuels from electricity by 2040, and even launched a worldwide competition to see which country will be the first to become 100% renewable.

According to The Climate Council, Sweden has increased its investments in wind, solar, energy storage, and smart grids.

In Germany, enough renewable energy was produced in the first half of 2018 to power every home in the country for an entire year.

Half of the electricity in Denmark comes from wind and solar power. In 2017, the country set a new world record by obtaining 43% of its energy from the wind!

The Les Mées solar farm in southern France covers 200 hectares and contains 112,000 solar modules, generating 100MW of clean energy. There are plans to build another farm that will cover 1,800 hectares of land and will require an investment of about $1 billion.

A hefty price tag for sure, but the researchers who studied CO2 emissions around the globe say significant investments are needed to succeed in helping the planet, and eventually, costs will come down along with our pollution rates.

It’s a lot of money and effort, but as 18 countries have just proven, it’s possible.

Catherine Sherriffs
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Catherine Sherriffs

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her two young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.
Catherine Sherriffs
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