A carbon footprint is historically defined as the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.

Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use remained flat in 2019 for the first time in 10 years, according to The International Energy Agency’s recent report on CO2 emissions.

The findings show energy-related CO2 emissions remained at a record of 33.3 billion tons.


Emissions from the power industry in advanced economies fell to levels last seen in the late 1980s when electricity demand was one third lower than today.

Countries such as the U.S., EU, and Japan cut pollution levels while developing nations offset these declines.

The emissions from developing countries led by countries in Asia, with 80%, increased by nearly 400 million tonnes in 2019.

Declines in the U.S. was the largest, at 140 million tonnes, of any country. The report also noted that since 2000, U.S. emissions have decreased nearly one gigatonne.

In a statement, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said that the report proved that “innovation and technology are solutions to the world’s climate challenges.”

“While emissions in other regions rose, global emissions flattened and were offset by reductions in the United States and other nations that have successfully deployed carbon capture, renewable energy, natural gas, and nuclear power,” he said.

The IEA says it will release another report in June that will propose how global carbon emissions can be cut by a-third by 2025.

“This welcome halt in emissions growth is grounds for optimism that we can tackle the climate challenge this decade,” Fatih Birol, IEA executive director, said in a statement. “We now need to work hard to make sure that 2019 is remembered as a definitive peak in global emissions, not just another pause in growth.”

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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