Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels declined by 1.3% between 2008 and 2009 as a result of the financial crisis, concludes a correspondence online this week in Nature Geoscience. The decrease is only half as large as the figure predicted in a 2009 Nature Geoscience paper* partly because reductions in carbon intensity — the amount of fossil fuel emissions per unit of gross domestic product — were smaller than assumed.
Pierre Friedlingstein and colleagues analysed statistics on energy consumption at the country level, and converted those to carbon dioxide emissions. They found that the change in carbon dioxide emissions between 2008 and 2009 varies significantly by country, with decreases between about 7 and 12 % in Europe, Japan and North America, and substantial increases in emerging economies such as China.
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