In a welcome reminder that not everything is terrible always, global carbon emissions barely grew at all in 2016. It marks the third year in a row that humanity’s carbon footprint has been stable. They’re still much higher than they should be, but at least they are stable.
The very good news comes from the Global Carbon Project, an international team of Earth system scientists tasked with assessing how much CO2 human activity generates, and where it ends up. According to the group’s latest projections, our collective carbon footprint grew by a mere 0.2 percent in 2016. Between 2014 and 2015, the same group measured a net emissions growth of zero; a dramatic departure from the prior decade, in which emissions grew by roughly 2.3 percent per year.