2012 may go down in history as a remarkable year. For the first time, the maddening pace of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions showed signs of a global slowdown.
Importantly – and unlike the drop in emissions triggered by the 2008 recession – the let-off is happening at the same time as global wealth continues to swell.
"The small increase in emissions [of 2012]... may be the first sign of a more permanent slowdown in the increase of global CO2 emissions, and ultimately of declining global emissions," declares the Trends in Global CO2 Emissions: 2013 Report, published by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) last week. It analyses the latest emissions data, right up to 2012.