The latest EIA data for energy related carbon emissions show them falling 6.3% in January-May 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec12_3.pdf. How big is that?
Huge! It is as big a drop as happened in 2009, when the economy collapsed, but this time GDP grew both in 2011 and 2012. The 2012 drop so far is much bigger than in 2011 but is made more impressive, because it follows 2011, when carbon emissions also decreased. Back-to-back years of falling carbon emissions remain unusual.
Carbon emissions for 2102 are on course to reach 1992, 1991, or even possibly 1990 levels. Just amazing!
The 2012 drop is due to mainly gas displacing coal to make electricity and falling oil consumption due to efficiency and growing oil substitutes.
Unlike previous reductions, the 2012 drop is not due to renewable energy, since total renewable energy production is down in 2012, as a result of a significant decline in hydro generation.