PwC's 7th Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI) shows good progress. The carbon intensity of the global economy has fallen on average by 1.3% each year since 2000, driven by energy efficiency improvements and the shift to less carbon intense service sectors.
Leo Johnson Partner, Sustainability & Climate Change at PwC states in the foreword, that; "For the first year in the seven since the Index began, we have what looks like the uncoupling of growth and emissions; GDP grew by 3.3% in 2014, with energy emissions up by only 0.5%. And the stage is set for national commitments in Paris in December 2015 to drive the rate of decarbonisation even further."
The largest EU countries showed particularly sharp reductions of over 7%, with the UK topping our Index with a 10.9% fall in carbon intensity – the highest by any country over the last six years.
In the lead up to the Paris summit, governments have proposed a range of emissions targets with different baselines and target years. PwC’s LCEI calculates the implied carbon intensity pathways and assesses their ambition on a comparable basis.
South Africa, Mexico and Korea have the highest level of ambition, they will need to approximately triple their current decarbonisation rate to achieve their target. The US and China’s targets also imply a step change in action to reduce carbon intensity.
Overall, the national targets imply a global average decarbonisation rate of 3% per year – more than double the business as usual rate of 1.3% (2000-14), but falling short of the 6.3% annual decarbonisation now needed.