A potential peak in greenhouse gas emissions, methane efforts and climate finance are among the reasons for optimism.
If current growth in renewable energy continues, and if countries take action on cutting greenhouse gases such as methane, then next year could be the year in which greenhouse gas emissions at last reach their peak.
These are big ifs. The finding, from a respected group of scientists, is heavily hedged. Renewable energy rates could falter, fossil fuel companies will continue to seek to expand, and countries may fail to take the action needed.
But if the long-awaited peak can be reached, and if emissions continue to fall in the following years, it would mark a watershed moment for humanity.
Since the industrial revolution, the amount of carbon poured into the atmosphere has risen steadily. On only a handful of occasions – the financial crisis of 2008-09, the lockdowns that followed the outbreak of Covid-19, and in more distant years depressions, wars and oil shocks – has the upward march of annually rising emissions reversed, and in all those cases it quickly recovered. In 2022, carbon dioxide emissions rose to their highest ever level, so even if this peak comes about, it will be much higher than hoped.
Read more: theguardian.com