November 12, 2013

Good news on global warming? Emissions going up, but more slowly.

Despite a record-setting increase in the amount of carbon dioxide released from power plants, factories, and other human activities last year, there may have been a silver lining: emissions increased at a significantly slower rate than they have during the past 10 years on average, according to a new report.

The reduction in the rate of increase took place even as the global economy grew. This could signal that countries are using more green energy, which allows them to grow economically without similarly increasing their CO2 emissions. But other variables suggest 2013 could also be an anomaly.

The report comes on the eve of global climate talks set to take place in Warsaw Nov. 11-22. The talks are aimed at laying the groundwork for a new international agreement to combat global warming in ways that include major greenhouse-gas emitters such as China and India as well as industrial countries that historically have been the major emitters.

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