For the first time in this decade, global CO2 emissions actually fell. The 1.3 percent decline — down to a total of 31.3 billion tonnes worldwide — is due in part to a $40 billion rise in investments in green power. The report on the decline was released by the Muenster-based institute IWR which noted that though the decline is great news, it could have been — and will have to be — even better in order to start to address the global climate crisis.

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The director of IWR, Norbert Allnoch, noted that carbon dioxide levels could have been even lower had the increasing CO2 output in Asia and the Middle East not overshadowed the gains made by Europe, Russia, Japan and the United States. “The energy-induced CO2 output in China in 2009 due to its economic growth has grown to a level now that is as high as that of the U.S. and Russia combined,” he told Reuters.

The report from IWR noted that the increasing dependence on green power and the global energy crisis led to lower prices for those sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel. Though the decline was noted, the report also detailed that in order to curb our dependence on fossil fuel and start to reverse global climate change we’d need to quadruple our global annual spending on renewables to a total of $644.2 billion.

Via Reuters