Greenhouse Gases Plummet in World Recession

If there is a silver lining to the global recession, it’s the unparalleled fall in greenhouse gas emissions, an event that could provide a “unique opportunity” to move away from high-carbon growth, says a report by the International Energy Agency.

The drop in CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels exceeds the drop exacerbated by the 1981 recession, according to the Financial Times.

Now all of the drop has come with decreased international consumption. Estimates that about a quarter of the drop have come from three government initiatives: Europe’s target to cut emissions by 20 percent by 2020; US car meission standards; and China’s energy efficient policies.

Business is weighing in on the environmental situation. In advance of this week’s UN meeting on climate change, the world’s largest global investors managing more than $13 trillion in assets issued a joint call for strong action in the fight against global warming. 181 investors meeting at a Climate Change Forum in New York issued a statement calling for a strong and binding international treaty that will reduce pollution and catalyze massive global investments in low-carbon technologies. via Sustainable

Read about the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, a collaboration between the UN and the finance sector, at UNEP FI. For actions taken by US global companies like P&G, Walmart and Goldman Sachs, read the Environmental Leader. A