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Good News: Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Dropped by 1.1 Percent in 2009

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Fossil fuel use in the U.S.. Graph showing values up to 2008.

Among the dozen of bad news that keep filling our mailboxes daily, we once in a while read something worth smiling at: the global greenhouse emissions generated by energy use dropped for the first time since 1998, by 1.1 percent. Through this, the economic crisis has its good actions, because it reduced the industrial production and fossil fuel consumption worldwide, reports Reuters.

The report has been made in 2009, when China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, further increased its emissions footprint by 9.1 percent, touching an estimated 7.52 billion tons of greenhouse gases. It’s a normal trade-off, in my opinion, from obvious reasons not worthy of mentioning (except the fact that probably the products’ quality has decreased due to this).

The U.S., on the other hand, fell by 6.5 percent to 5.94 billion, having the lowest value since 1995. Finally, Japan had the biggest drop, with an 11.8 percent fall to 1.22 billion tons.

Surprisingly, and this is maybe due to more fuel-efficient cars and factories AND the financial crisis, the overall oil consumption fell by 1.2 million barrels per day in 2009. This is the second decline, with the year’s 2008 reports following.

The development of “cleaner” technologies and vehicles and the sustained growth of renewable energy sources (or converters, if you like) will surely cause a massive drop in greenhouse gas emissions, which is a positive signal that we are on the right track. The economic crisis, on the other hand, is an unwanted source of pollution drop, but we may learn that we can use less resources to keep things alive and kicking – without being forced by the market conditions.

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